Jefferson University Hospitals

Why Laparoscopy Is Better

The procedures performed in Jefferson's Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Program are advanced laparoscopic surgical procedures. With laparoscopy, you experience less pain, shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery times.

Laparoscopic procedures are performed via multiple small incisions (one-half to 1 inch). A camera, or laparoscope, is placed through one of these small incisions and the instruments are placed through the other incisions.

Note: Laparoscopy should not be confused with endoscopy, which is for basic and some experimental procedures done through the mouth without any incisions. Gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy – nor any scientifically proven successful weight loss procedure – is done endoscopically in the United States.

Laparoscopy has revolutionized weight loss surgery. The weight loss achieved is similar to older open procedures. However, because smaller incisions are less painful, you can breathe more fully postoperatively and get out of bed the night of your surgery. This can lead to fewer problems with postoperative pneumonia, as well as lower odds of blood clots in your legs postoperatively. Earlier walking and less pain also helps allow your hospitalization to be only two days for gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy.

Lastly, when you get home, you will be able to do more activities, and your recovery to regular activities is faster. Some postoperative complications that are common to open bariatric surgery – hernias and wound infections, for example – have also been reduced with laparoscopy.

While the incisions are small, this is still major surgery on the inside. Rarely, the laparoscopic procedure will have to be converted to an open procedure, meaning an incision will be made to safely complete the operation. This occurs in less than one in 300 cases. Although this is a rare occurrence, if your surgeon decides this is necessary, it is in your best safety interest. If the laparoscopic procedure is converted to an open approach, it will lengthen your hospital stay.