Monday, April 27, 2009

Sinai Hospital of Baltimore physician performs rare single-incision surgery for weight loss

Alex Gandsas, M.D., M.B.A., head of the Division of Bariatric & Minimally Invasive Surgery at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, successfully completed a weight loss operation known as “gastric sleeve” using a single keyhole incision.

“It is a very complicated procedure. Usually this type of surgery takes four to six incisions,” Gandsas said.

The gastric sleeve is a relatively new approach in bariatric surgery. It involves the removal of up to 85 percent of the stomach. Although the stomach is smaller, its function remains the same. The surgery, which Gandsas performed this month, is believed to be the first successful single-incision laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (SILS) performed in Maryland.

“The less incisions, the better it is for the patients,” Gandsas said.

The patient, a 26-year-old female who weighed 275 pounds, agreed to the surgery because one incision means less scarring, less pain and a faster recovery.

“I had tried dieting but it just wasn’t happening,” she said.

The Howard County, Maryland, resident knows the surgery is a step in the right direction but it is not a quick fix.

“I still will diet and exercise and focus on good nutrition,” she said.

With the combination of the surgery and lifestyle changes, she is looking forward to a smaller and healthier body.

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