Minimally invasive weight-loss surgery is safer than open surgery, according to a US study.

Patients left the hospital sooner after undergoing laparoscopic gastric bypass procedures, in which only a few small cuts in the stomach were made, said researchers at Stanford University, California.

During gastric bypass, the surgeon creates a pouch out of the top portion of the stomach, then connects it to the small intestine so fewer calories are absorbed during digestion, with one large cut being made. Laparoscopic surgery involves a small camera being inserted, and several small cuts.

“The consensus is now overwhelming to suggest a laparoscopic approach first,” said John Morton, who led the research.

The researchers found about 19 percent of patients undergoing open surgery had at least one complication. Just over 12 percent of those who had less-invasive surgery developed complications.

One in 500 patients in the open surgery group died during or just after surgery, compared with one in 1 000 in the other group. – Reuters