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Baptist Health Lexington is First in Lexington to Perform da Vinci-assisted Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgeon Dr. G. Derek Weiss performed the first da Vinci Surgical System-assisted gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy and greater curvature plication weight-loss procedures in Lexington at Baptist Health Lexington April 11 and 12.


Performance of the procedures marked the first time the new technology has been used in Lexington to perform some of the most popular types of weight-loss surgery. The da Vinci Surgical System is a sophisticated robotic platform designed to expand a surgeon’s capabilities and, in many cases, offer better surgical outcomes than minimally invasive surgery.


The da Vinci system gives surgeons greater precision, increased range of motion, improved dexterity and enhanced access to patient anatomy. Through small incisions, the surgeon is able to introduce miniaturized instruments and a high-definition 3-D camera to view the surgical site. The surgeon’s hand movements are translated by robotic and computer technologies into precise micro-movements of the da Vinci instruments.


Dr. Weiss, who serves as medical director of bariatric surgery at Baptist Health Lexington, says the robotic surgery is a state-of-the-art advancement in medical technology and hopes it will continue to push the limits of weight-loss surgery. He looks forward to utilizing the da Vinci technology in many future weight-loss surgical procedures at Baptist Health Lexington, offering patients the potential of less pain, shorter hospitalization and faster recovery.


Baptist Health Lexington has served as a pioneer site for several minimally invasive weight-loss surgeries in recent years. In January 2011, Dr. Weiss and bariatric surgeon Dr. John S. Oldham, Jr. performed the first laparoscopic greater curvature plication procedure in the state at CBH. In May 2008, the surgeons made local medical history by performing the first sleeve gastrectomy procedure in Lexington at Baptist Health Lexington.


In the gastric band procedure, an adjustable silicone band is placed around the upper part of the patient’s stomach creating a small pouch which allows the stomach to hold less food and creates the sensation of feeling full faster.


The sleeve gastrectomy procedure is achieved by dividing and removing more than 85 percent of the patient’s stomach, which results in decreased production of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite and hunger sensation.


The greater curvature plication procedure is reversible and involves oversewing the outer part of the stomach so that it holds considerably less food.