Laparoscopic Surgery for Severe (Morbid) Obesity Patient Information from SAGES

Laparoscopic surgery for obesity is for people who are severely overweight. Laparoscopy involves using a specialized telescope (laparoscope) to view the stomach, which typically allows smaller abdominal incisions. This brochure will explain:

  • What is severe (morbid) obesity?
  • Medical and surgical treatment options for severe (morbid) obesity
  • How laparoscopic obesity surgery is performed
  • Expected outcomes of the procedure
  • What can be expected after laparoscopic obesity surgery

What is Severe Obesity?

Severe obesity, sometimes known as “morbid obesity”, is defined as being approximately 100 pounds (45.5 kg) or 100% above ideal body weight. This is determined according to the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company height and weight tables. Between 3-5% of the United States adult population has severe obesity. This condition is associated with the development of life-threatening complications such as hypertension, diabetes and coronary artery disease, to name a few.

Numerous therapeutic approaches to this problem have been advocated, including low calorie diets, medication, behavioral modification and exercise therapy. However, the only treatment proven to be effective in long-term management of morbid obesity is surgical intervention.

What Causes Severe Obesity?

The cause of severe (morbid) obesity is poorly understood. There are probably many factors involved. In obese persons, the set point of stored energy is too high. This altered set point may result from a low metabolism with low energy expenditure, excessive caloric intake, or a combination of the above. There is scientific data that suggests obesity may be an inherited characteristic.

Severe obesity is most likely a result of a combination of genetic, psychosocial, environmental, social and cultural influences that interact resulting in the complex disorder of both appetite regulation and energy metabolism. Severe obesity does not appear to be a simple lack of self-control by the patient.

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Brought to you by:

SOCIETY OF AMERICAN GASTROINTESTINAL ENDOSCOPIC SURGEONS (SAGES)
11300 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tel:
(310) 437-0544
Fax:
(310) 437-0585
E-Mail:
publications@sages.org
This brochure is intended to provide a general overview of a surgery. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical care or a discussion between you and your surgeon about the need for a surgery. Specific recommendations may vary among health care professionals. If you have a question about your need for a surgery, your alternatives, billing or insurance coverage, or your surgeons training and experience, do not hesitate to ask your surgeon or his/her office staff about it. If you have questions about the operation or subsequent follow up, discuss them with your surgeon before or after the operation.