Dr. Balsama works tirelessly to provide patients with the best preoperative and postoperative care and surgical experiences. That is why he championed the 3-port laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy in the northeast. Unlike an open sleeve gastrectomy during which a surgeon makes a large incision, inserts the surgical tools, and conducts the surgery, a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) allows a surgeon to make small incisions and perform the surgery with the assistance of a laparoscope or small camera.
Laparoscopic bariatric surgery is fairly common, but Dr. Balsama takes it one step further by performing a 3-port laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Generally, an LSG requires 5-6 ports, but a 3-port LSG is preferable since studies have suggested that decreasing the number of incisions needed to perform the surgery may result is less postoperative pain for patients as well as quicker recovery, a more cosmetically-pleasing postsurgical site, and a lowered risk of infection.
The surgeon begins a 3-port laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy by making three small incisions. Through these, the surgeon performs the surgery. During the procedure, the surgeon removes about 80% of the stomach, changing the entire structure from the size of a football to a shape resembling a banana. Rather than simply restricting food intake like a lap band, this procedure affects levels of ghrelin, the hormone that controls hunger, by removing a large portion of the stomach that produces it. This often alters a person’s blood sugar, cravings, and appetite, resulting in better postsurgical results and increased weight loss.
Along with being minimally invasive, an LSG carries the additional benefit of having a lower risk of vitamin deficiency because, although the stomach is altered, food follows a normal digestive path. Since the stomach retains its regular functions, postoperative patients should be able to eat the healthy foods their bodies need, as long as they do so in small portions. The surgery also often results in the reduction or elimination of comorbidities, coexisting disorders such as sleep apnea, acid reflux, etc.