How Can Weight Loss Surgery Be Minimally Invasive?

With approximately 40 percent of adults in America living with obesity or severe obesity*, the need for safe and effective weight loss options to reduce overall health risks is greater than ever. However, not all candidates for bariatric surgery are able to undergo open surgery, and some are simply not comfortable with the prospect of having such invasive procedures. Whether the reasons are due to not being able to take time off work, not having sufficient childcare support during recovery, concerns about possible complications during a traditional open surgery, or other factors, the potential benefits of weight loss surgery should still be available. Fortunately, technological advancements and modern surgical techniques have paved the way for many individuals to receive more accessible treatment options. Our board-certified bariatric surgeon in Alexandria, Dr. James Parrish, is extensively trained and experienced with minimally invasive weight loss surgery techniques and offers a range of options for patients to start the journey toward improving their health.

While the precise nature of the procedure depends on individual needs and the type of weight loss surgery the patient is undergoing, minimally invasive weight loss surgery at our practice is generally performed by making two to four small incisions (each half an inch or less) rather than a six-to-twelve inch incision often used during open surgery. One of the small incisions is used for our surgeon to insert a laparoscope — a thin, lighted, telescopic rod with a camera at the end – to see into the abdomen. The other small incisions are used for the surgical instruments to perform the procedure. This less invasive method is called laparoscopic surgery, or laparoscopy, and can offer many benefits to the patient, including:

  • Shorter recovery time
  • Smaller scars
  • Reduced risk of infection in smaller wounds
  • Less discomfort and swelling
  • Faster return to work and activities
  • Reduced risk of post-procedure complications
  • Minimal contact/transmission of germs

Dr. Parrish utilizes laparoscopic surgery for weight loss procedures such as:

Another option Dr. Parrish offers for completely non-surgical weight loss treatment is the ORBERA® Managed Weight Loss System, which places a temporary intragastric balloon inside the stomach. Each of the above listed bariatric options works to create the sensation of feeling full sooner and for a longer period of time, therefore leading to consumption of smaller portions and fewer calories. With the aid of these less invasive bariatric surgery options, patients can also have a greater chance of reducing the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer by lowering their weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) over time.

To learn more about minimally invasive options for weight loss, or to schedule a confidential consultation with Dr. Parrish, please contact our practice.

Medical Reference for Weight Loss Procedures:

*NIH > NIDDK: Overweight & Obesity Statistics