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Advantages: Sapala-Wood Micropouch

The Sapala-Wood Micropouch is a relatively new kind of bariatric procedure that is quickly being recognized by health experts for its short and long term effectiveness.

The Sapala-Wood Micropouch gastric bypass operation allows you to lose weight in a few different ways:

Firstly, the micropouch has limited food capacity. The Sapala-Wood Micropouch is so small, about the size of a grape, you must eat 6-8 small meals a day. You must eat every meal slowly and chew the food completely. This allows the very efficient Sapala-Wood Micropouch to empty its contents directly into the intestine. If you eat too fast or swallow large chunks of food, the food can "stick" in the pouch. This can cause chest pain and vomiting. You must be careful and always think while you are eating.

The Micropouch also controls rate of food entering intestine. The small opening into the intestine (called the STOMA) also prevents over eating. The stoma controls the rate at which food goes into the intestinal tract. If you eat too fast you may exceed the ability of food to enter the intestine.

Additionally, the micropouch helps limit calorie absorption by GI tract. The Sapala-Wood Micropouch operation limits the total number of calories that can be absorbed by the gastrointestinal or GI tract. Because it bypasses the bottom of the stomach and several feet of small bowel, that part of the GI tract cannot absorb calories. This is the main reason you can maintain a significant weight loss for a long time.

The National Institutes of Health have endorsed the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass as an effective way to treat morbid obesity over a long period of time. The Sapala-Wood Micropouch operation is a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass with a very small pouch. It resists stretching, and it is not likely to cause ulcers and acid reflux. Another benefit of the S-W Micropouch is that patients will not experience recurring problems with diarrhea. Diarrhea was very common after the intestinal bypass operations of the 1970s. But the Sapala-Wood Micropouch operation is different. The bottom parts of the intestine are not bypassed. So most patients still have between 8 and 15 feet of non-bypassed intestine left after the Sapala-Wood Micropouch® operation.

Only recently have bariatric surgeons developed a good operation; the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. (especially the Sapala-Wood Micropouch) In the past, surgery for obesity was not very successful. The intestinal bypass operation of the 1970s was fairly good at reducing weight, but it had distressing complications. These included constant diarrhea, liver disease, and kidney stones.

The stomach stapling operations of the 1980s didn’t have these side effects, but the staples often broke apart within 3 years of the operation and most patients regained their weight.

Advances in medical technology continue to improve all aspects of bariatric surgery. For example, the time in surgery for the Sapala-Wood Micropouch operation is 2 hours or less.

Also, patients now stay in the hospital for 2-3 days or less. They used to have to be in the hospital for 10-12 days. There is so little loss of blood that a patient rarely needs a blood transfusion. Today, patients recover from the operation in about 3 to 6 weeks on average. Most important, our bariatric surgeons are committed to providing lifelong support and follow-up care for gastric bypass patients.

As an additional advantage, many private insurance carriers will cover all or part of the expenses of the operation. But most of these carriers have strict guidelines for authorizing coverage of the operation. So each patient’s insurance contract must be evaluated on an individual basis.