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Who Are Advanced Laparoscopic Specialists

By Marci Nielsen

These are the medical doctors of New York city who are trained in endoscopy (a minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical technique) with a focus on helping the morbidly obese lose weight. Advanced Laparoscopic Specialists are skilled in gastric by-pass surgery, which reduces the size of the stomach. The operation itself is only a first step in the weight-control program

Gastric by-pass surgery is considered cosmetic or frivolous by many. However, this method of reducing the functional size of the stomach and thereby reducing its capacity is a lifesaver for those who need extreme measures to restore health. People who carry one hundred pounds or more of surplus weight are susceptible to other health problems. These include hypertension and cardiac disease, type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea. All of these disorders can be life-threatening, and all negatively impact a person's quality of life.

Individuals who are severely overweight may be unable to get sufficient exercise, which is a key component of most successful weight-loss programs. Muscles need exercise to maintain tone, and it is muscle fibers that burn calories more efficiently than other tissue. Without exercise, more calories are stored as fat instead of being burned for energy. Without exercise, digestion is compromised. So is circulation of both blood and lymph, leadong to a weakened immune system that leaves a person vulnerable to other illnesses.

Excess weight places undue stress on feet and joints, making it hard or impossible for severely overweight people to walk freely, much less engage in more vigorous activities. Not being able to exercise makes gaining weight easier than ever. Weight gain is further accelerated if there are hormonal issues. Poor food choices and eating habits also contribute to overweight. In the US, obesity is second only to smoking as a leading cause of death from bad habits. In fact, being sedentary is called 'the new smoking' by health professionals.

Laparoscopic surgery carries less dangers than open incisions. In this technique, long metal tubes called endoscopes are used to allow the surgeon to operate through tiny incisions that may be far from the actual site of the surgery. There is less chance of infection, less pain and scarring, and a greatly reduced time for recovery.

Special cameras and lights allow the surgeon to 'see' what he's doing. Advances like these make surgery feasible for many whose health might not allow conventional surgical procedures. Gastric by-pass used to be major surgery with inherent risks. These have been greatly reduced with the less invasive procedures.

The surgery is combined with extensive pre- and post-op counseling and support. Potential patients attend seminars that educate them on the procedure as well as ways to successfully keep weight off for the long run. Nutritionists and dietitians are on staff to help people commit to lifestyle changes and to learn how to form better eating habits. Support groups made up of counselors and former patients help people set goals and implement measures that keep the pounds from coming back.

Patients have all the help they need to lose weight and keep it off. Without this kind of extra care, many people gain the weight back after by-pass surgery. With counseling and support, as well as the skilled hands of trained surgeons, people can truly find new life, hope, happiness, and health.

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