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Canonsburg Woman Undergoes Robot-Assisted Weight Loss Procedure at AGH
Date:7/9/2009

are better able to afford patients a proven surgical treatment that results in fewer complications, shorter recovery time and less post-operative pain.”

In normal digestion, food passes through the stomach and enters the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed. Gastric bypass involves significantly reducing the size of the stomach to limit a patient’s food consumption and bypassing a sizable portion of the small intestine.

“We essentially construct a mini-stomach by permanently dividing the stomach, creating a pouch that can hold only a few bites of food. The intestines are then cut approximately one and a half feet beyond the stomach and attached to the pouch. This reconfiguring of the digestive system provides both a restrictive and malabsorptive method to the weight loss,”Dr. Uchal said.

More than 150,000 such operations are now performed annually in the United States.

“For morbidly obese patients, weight loss surgery can be a life-saving operation. Although results vary, gastric bypass on average leads to a 65% reduction in excess weight. When combined with healthy life-style changes that patients are encouraged to pursue following surgery, this procedure enables us to resolve or greatly improve 80 to 90 percent of a patient’s weight-related health problems,” Dr. Uchal said.    

A number of clinical studies have demonstrated the advantages of robotic gastric bypass, Dr. Uchal said.

Reporting in the September, 2008 Journal of Robotic Surgery, surgeons from the University of Texas Medical School showed that robotic surgery significantly reduced a patient’s risk of developing gastrointestinal leakage from the procedure, a rare but serious complication.

Researchers from Stanford University noted additional potential advantages in an August 2005 study published in the Archives of Surgery. They found that the robotic syst
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