Dr. Edward Livingston, professor and chief of gastrointestinal and endocrine surgery at the University of Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said having just a single entry point means less scarring than in traditional laparoscopic surgery, in which five or more incisions are required.
"The promise of fewer scars really appeals to patients, evidenced by the growing demand," Livingston said in a statement. "Not everyone has heard about it, but the enthusiasm is striking once they find it's a possibility."
Single-incision surgery can help reduce post-operative pain, speed healing and reduce risk of infection, studies in the emerging field indicate.
Bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, is performed for the purpose of losing weight on the stomach and intestine of people who are dangerously obese.
The two most common procedures are the Roux-en-Y, a form of gastric bypass surgery which closes off a portion of the stomach and bypasses part of the intestine, and gastric banding, which places a restrictive band around the stomach.