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Third Weight Loss Surgery Option

Third Weight Loss Surgery Option for Morbid Obesity

Three laparoscopic weight loss surgery choices are now available to clinically obese patients at St. Luke's Hospital - Allentown Campus

Allentown, PA (1/5/2010) - St. Luke's bariatric surgeons have performed the first laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomies at St. Luke's Hospital-Allentown CampusClarence Holland, Jr., MD, FACS performed the first laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy December 22, 2009 and Leonardo Claros, MD performed the procedure January 5, 2010. Dr. Claros has performed the procedure previously while working in Boston with excellent patient results. This is the third laparoscopic weight loss surgery option available through St. Luke's Bariatric Services Program for patients who are extremely, or morbidly, obese. This restrictive procedure causes weight loss by reducing the size of the stomach, according to Dr. Holland.

Two additional weight loss procedures—the laparoscopic Roux-En-Y gastric bypass and the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band - also are available to patients through St. Luke's Bariatric Services Program.

Dr. Clarence Holland (left) and Dr. Leonardo Claros (right) offer three weight loss surgery choices to clinically obese patients.

Qualifying for Weight Loss Surgery

To qualify for weight loss surgery, individuals must be 100 pounds or more overweight and have a body mass index, or BMI, greater than 40 or have a BMI of 35 to 39.99 accompanied by an obesity-related medical condition like diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea. At St. Luke's the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is available to adults with a BMI between 35 and 55.

The Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastectomy

This restrictive procedure causes weight loss by reducing the size of the stomach to initially hold about three ounces. The procedure is permanent. Seventy to 80 percent of the stomach is surgically removed and a smaller stomach pouch is created. There is no rerouting of intestines. The shape of the new stomach pouch is often compared to a banana or the ‘sleeve’ of a long-sleeved shirt.

The Laparoscopic Roux-En-Y

During the Roux-En-Y gastric bypass, a small pouch is formed from the top part of the stomach and a portion of the small intestine is bypassed. Weight loss is achieved by restricting the amount of food one can eat and through decreased absorption of calories. Weight loss is usually rapid with most of the weight lost in the first year. The procedure is performed through tiny incisions made in the abdomen.

The Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band Procedure

This procedure, like the sleeve gastrectomy, is a restrictive procedure done by placing a silicone band around the upper part of the stomach, thereby creating a small pouch with a small opening through which the food passes. The size of the opening is adjusted by adding or removing saline water into or from a small port placed under the skin on the abdominal wall. Weight loss is generally slower than with the gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy due to the need for multiple adjustments during the first year.

About Weight Loss Surgery

Surgical weight loss is often the only way for most people suffering from clinically severe obesity to lose weight for the long term. Bariatric surgery can lead to a healthier weight, decrease the likelihood of developing certain illnesses and improve quality of life.

Health concerns associated with obesity include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heartburn, sleep problems, hernia, fatty deposits in the blood, osteoarthritis and certain cancers. For people who suffer from an obesity-related condition, bariatric surgery can improve and even reverse these conditions.


About the Surgeons

Dr. Holland has participated in more than 1,200 gastric bypass procedures, having served as the primary surgeon in approximately 800 of them. Dr. Claros has participated in more than 400 laparoscopic bariatric cases in a formal bariatric surgery fellowship. Since finishing his fellowship in 2006, he has participated in or performed more than 200 laparoscopic bariatric procedures, including lap bands, gastric bypasses and sleeve gastrectomies.

Those considering weight loss surgery and want more information on bariatric services can call St. Luke's Bariatric Services at 610-628-8315 to speak with a team member. Free informational seminars on bariatric surgery are also offered monthly at St. Luke's Hospital-Allentown Campus. To register, call St. Luke's InfoLink at 1-877-610-6161 (toll free) or email InfoLink@slhn.org.