October 17, 2008

Webcast to spotlight weight loss surgery

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Lawrence Marnett, Ph.D.

Webcast to spotlight weight loss surgery

Surgeons at Vanderbilt Medical Center are hosting a live, one-hour Webcast to demonstrate a new surgical weight loss procedure that has been proven to reduce appetite and provide for healthy weight loss for the obese.

The broadcast is set for Thursday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m. and can be viewed at www.OR-Live.com.

The procedure, called laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is relatively new in the United States and is performed via five very small incisions.

Sophisticated instruments and a small camera are inserted through these incisions to conduct the operation.

The use of small incisions creates less tissue damage, fewer complications, and an earlier discharge from the hospital.

In this procedure, most of the stomach is removed and a vertical sleeve, or tube, is fashioned from the remaining stomach.

Following surgery, food will go through the stomach into the small intestine in a normal fashion. But, since the stomach is so much smaller, a much reduced portion size will fill the patient up, leading to reduced food intake.

Also, levels of the appetite hormone ghrelin are reduced since it is produced in the stomach.

Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, has been shown to improve medical conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

For more information on surgical weight loss please visit the Web site of the Vanderbilt Center for Surgical Weight Loss at www.vanderbiltweightlosssurgery.com.