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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UMC doctor conducts single-incision weight loss surgery

The future of weight loss surgery could be as simple as a single incision.  

Dr. Carlos Galvani, the UA surgeon who conducted the first single-incision weight loss surgery in Tucson, said he is pleased with the results and recovery of his patient.

During the surgery, a laparoscopic gastric band  is placed around the upper portion of the patient’s stomach, limiting the amount of food needed to feel full after a meal.

“”Getting the surgery is like getting yourself a policeman,”” Galvani said. “”Once you eat the wrong thing or too much it will stop you, and let you know you have eaten too much.””

Galvani, an associate professor of surgery and director of Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery at the UA, performed the procedure last February after finding a candidate who would benefit from the operation.

“”From a surgery standpoint, it was very successful,”” Galvani said. “”She did really good and was able to go home in the morning.””   

The single-incision bariatric surgery is different from weight loss procedures in the past, in which multiple cuts had to be made on the abdomen. During the operation, one half-inch incision is made though the navel of the patient. From there, a surgeon inserts a small camera into the incision to place a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band around the upper portion of the stomach. The surgeon then injects the band with saline though a port that restricts that bottom portion of the stomach and controls the amount of food that can be eaten in a single sitting.

Galvani estimated that 90 percent of the people who receive this procedure are able to go home the next day. The recovery time is also quicker compared to most weight loss procedures, as it is less invasive and limits the potential for infection.

“”We are trying to do the same weight loss surgery we have done before, but now trying to reduce pain, infection and more complications,”” Galvani said.   

This operation is not recommended for everyone and is seen as more of a last resort to improve patient health. The surgery can not be performed on severely overweight individuals who exceed around 300 pounds, as tools have not been developed to accommodate the added girth.

Candidates are chosen based on previous struggles with dieting and weight loss programs. Though the cosmetic factor of looking thinner can be a benefit to the operation, the main purpose is to deter patients from fatal health risks including heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Galvani conducted a procedure similar to the first single-incision bariatric surgery a week ago and said he anticipates his most recent patient will experience the same recovery results.

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