Overview of Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery

It’s been deemed a critical advancement in the field of bariatric surgery, and may soon become one of the best options for minimally-invasive surgery for patients who are severely overweight. Single incision laparoscopic surgery is an innovative procedure where the doctor uses just a single incision to insert the camera and instruments needed to perform the bariatric surgery procedure. Here’s a close look at how single incision laparoscopic surgery works, and what its key benefits are.

How Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery Works

Single incision laparoscopic surgery, also known as single-port access surgery and endoscopic single-site surgery, can be performed by making a small incision in or near the navel and inserting the necessary laparoscopic instruments directly into the body. For gastric banding procedures, the placement of the adjustment port requires making a small subcutaneous flap. For gastric bypass procedures, the doctor may need to make a small vertical incision around the belly button only.
Once the incision has been made, the doctor uses the Veress technique where the fasica is lifted up and the needle is inserted directly into the incision. Some doctors may choose to use a port that makes it easy to visualize all of the tissue layers. A flexible scope that can be moved at least 180 degrees may also be used with this process. The instrument provides the surgeon with a larger field view and work through each step of the operation quickly and efficiently.

Key Benefits of Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery

According to Dr. Ovunc Bardakcioglu, a gastrointestinal surgeon at SLU Hospital who has performed several gastrointestinal procedures using the single incision laparoscopic technique, “The single-incision procedure is revolutionary in the gastrointestinal surgical field…as researchers and physicians, we are always looking for the most effective and least invasive techniques to benefit our patients. Single-incision laparoscopic surgery may soon become the preferred method of the future.” (Source: News-Medical.net)
The first single-incision lap-band surgery was completed in the summer 2008 by UT Southwestern Medical Center surgeons in Texas. This procedure offers several benefits including
  • Faster healing times
  • Fewer wounds
  • Reduced future scarring
  • Scars remain hidden
  • Shorter hospital stay
Single-incision laparoscopic surgery is currently performed only be a few dozen surgeons around the United States. It continues to be an attractive alternative for patients who do not want to undergo the traditional gastric bypass or gastric banding procedure.

What to Expect After Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery

Patients that undergo gastric bypass surgery with the single-incision laparoscopic technique typically spend between one to three days in the hospital for recovery. The Cleveland Clinic advises patients to take between two to four weeks off work to fully recover from the procedure, and the patient must follow a healthy diet plan to accommodate for the smaller stomach size.
Learn more about the latest weight loss procedures in our surgery guide, or consult with a bariatric surgeon in your area to find out if you are a good candidate for surgery and if single incision laparoscopic surgery is the right procedure for you.