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STARR Treatment

at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital

Guide from the Marina Weight Management Center

As our bariatric surgeons are up-to-date with the latest surgical techniques, Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital also offers the STARR treatment to patients who consider undergoing a weight loss procedure. Involving only a single incision in the abdomen, the STARR technique can be employed for carrying out two effective bariatric procedures: lap band surgery and sleeve gastrectomy. Our knowledgeable and skilful bariatric surgeons have years of experience in performing weight loss procedures with minimal postoperative risks and, after a thorough examination, they will be able to tell you with certainty whether the STARR treatment is suitable for you. Throughout each of your hospital visits, our caring staff will ensure you are provided with the information and assistance you need in a warm, compassionate environment.

If you are considering the STARR treatment as a weight management surgical solution, our team of bariatric specialists will gladly evaluate your health to determine whether you are a good candidate for this procedure. Supposing you do not meet the requirements for undergoing surgery via the STARR technique, they will promptly come up with one or multiple safe alternative treatment approaches suitable for you. No matter how complex your case is, we will strive to achieve optimal results with the aid of innovative medical technology which will ensure a low-risk surgery.

As one of the most innovative treatment approaches available at the moment, single-incision surgery refers to laparoscopic procedures which are carried out via a single incision. While it can treat or alleviate numerous diseases and conditions affecting the respiratory, circulatory, and digestive system, single-incision surgery is only suitable for two bariatric procedures, namely lap band surgery and sleeve gastrectomy. The reason why this novel technique cannot be used to perform more complex bariatric surgeries such as gastric bypass has to do with the way these procedures must take place and the space the surgeon requires to adequately complete them. Consequently, single-incision surgery is a treatment option exclusively for patients who need a relatively simple bariatric procedure. This surgical approach is also known as the STARR treatment within the bariatric field, which stands for Surgical Tiny Access and Rapid Recovery. It is currently the least invasive weight loss surgery.

Surgery is carried out with the aid of the SPIDER system (Single Port Instrument Delivery Extended Reach), which implies making one small incision in or near the belly button. The bariatric surgeon will subsequently insert a tiny, flexible tube of approximately 18 mm in diameter equipped with various medical instruments through the incision to perform the procedure you need. Once the tube reaches the problematic area, it will unfold so that the surgeon can use every instrument attached to it, as well as the fiberoptic camera it has. When the procedure is completed, the medical instruments will fold back into the tube and the surgeon will carefully retract it out of your body. Your incision will subsequently be closed with stitches and covered with a sterile dressing.

As the least invasive bariatric technique, single-incision surgery entails numerous benefits for the patients, the most important being:

  • minimal postoperative pain and discomfort
  • short recovery time
  • almost no scarring, since it is carried out through a single, tiny incision
  • very low risk of complications
  • a smaller incision than regular laparoscopic surgery involves

Moreover, a single-incision surgery also entails a series of advantages for the bariatric surgeon, which means a lower risk of complications arising during the procedure. For instance, they can perform surgery with more ease, since the SPIDER system allows them more space inside the body. The arms of the device, whose diameters are considerably smaller than that of the instruments of a regular laparoscope (2.7 mm vs. 5-10 mm), expand inside the body similar to an umbrella, granting the surgeon a 360 degrees view of the area in question.

The STARR treatment was specially thought out to improve the outcome of lap band surgery and gastric sleeve surgery since these are procedures that do not require a lot of space to be successfully carried out. Therefore, people who need more complex bariatric surgeries, are not good candidates for the STARR treatment. Occasionally, depending on the anatomy of the patient who intends to undergo surgery, the STARR treatment might not even be suitable for these two procedures, as they will require more than one incision to be completed. After a thorough evaluation, a bariatric surgeon will be able to tell you with certainty whether you can have your lap band surgery or sleeve gastrectomy performed via a single-incision surgery.

Only after a complete medical examination will you be able to find out whether the STARR treatment is a suitable option for you. The bariatric specialists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital will ensure you undergo the necessary tests to determine if you qualify for the procedure, as well as if it is safe and effective for you. However, if you were recommended lap band surgery or gastric sleeve surgery, we encourage you to ask your doctor about the STARR treatment, as it might be a viable treatment solution for you.