Dr. Michel Gagner was recently quoted in a New York Times article entitled “What is Bariatric Surgery and How does it Work?”, an in-depth look into the function and uses of bariatric surgery. The article spans common questions associated with the procedure like its cost, statistics on the procedure, what the surgery entails, the history of this procedure and its after effects.
As many of our readers know, bariatric surgery is an option that almost always has positive health implications on obesity. It can help to reduce or even completely remove harmful conditions associated with obesity such as:
- Diabetes (a long-term remission for type 2 diabetes)
- Acid reflux problems
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral heart disease — as blood pressure and cholesterol levels can return to normal or near-normal levels
- Joint pain
- Fertility issues and pregnancy complications
- Metabolic syndromes
- Gallbladder disease
Dr. Gagner’s Role
Under the historical question on bariatric surgery, Dr. Gagner was featured because he discovered the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), one of the two most important procedures in bariatric surgery. Back in 2000 when he was a surgeon at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, he was operating on an extremely obese woman. He was quickly made aware that she was not getting enough oxygen and that he would have to stop the surgery. Dr. Gagner had already removed most of the patient’s stomach and had to patch up the patient, thinking that he had left the surgery incomplete. However, time told that the procedure was a success and the woman managed to lose a lot of weight and have a fresh start.
More on LSG
The LSG procedure was refined not long after into a standard procedure. It involves reducing the stomach volume by permanently removing 60-85% of the stomach pouch leaving the remaining section in what looks like a sleeve. This helps to restrict the amount of food (by restricting the hunger-related hormone) helping a person to feel full after a sufficient amount of food. This allows a person to naturally eat less, lose weight and later maintain a healthy weight.