Single-incision now an option for weight-loss surgeries

The latest technique for reducing surgical scars, called single-incision laparoscopic surgery, is now an option for people considering bariatric procedures for weight loss.

“The promise of fewer scars really appeals to patients, evidenced by the growing demand,” says Dr. Edward Livingston, professor and chief of gastrointensitinal and endocrine surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “Not everyone has heard about it, but the enthusiasm is striking once they find it’s a possibility.”

Having just a single entry point means less scarring than from traditional laparoscopic surgery where five or more incisions are required. Single-incision surgery also can help reduce post-operative pain, speed healing and reduce risk of infection, according to studies in the still emerging field.

“As more and more surgeons learn the special techniques required, single-incision surgery will become a more widespread option,” says Dr. Livingston, who also directs
UT Southwestern’s Clinical Center for the Surgical Management of Obesity. “Until then, it’s important to pick surgeons experienced in single-incision procedures because this is relatively new territory and requires special skills.”

UT Southwestern, among a select number of medical centers nationally teaching surgeons the new techniques, has achieved several breakthroughs in the specialized field, including the nation’s first single-incision kidney removal, Texas’ first single-incision lap-band procedure, North Texas’ first single-incision gallbladder surgery and the first single-incision hysterectomy in Durango, Mexico. UT Southwestern surgeons also routinely perform single-incision colectomies and appendectomies.

Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/bariatrics to learn more about clinical services in bariatrics at UT Southwestern. Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/endocrinology to learn more about
UT Southwestern’s clinical services in endocrine surgery.

Media Contact: Russell Rian

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