New Weight Loss Surgery?

New Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgeries have soared in popularity as the obesity epidemic has spread and likely the trend will continue.

More than 200,000 Americans underwent some kind of bariatric surgery last year, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

The most exciting experimental new weight loss surgery I've read about lately was from a small trial at the Brigham and Cleveland Clinic.

In June '08, an experimental weight loss surgery was performed in which doctors passed a tube into the patient's mouth and down the throat, and then use a tiny needle to sew a series of pleats in the stomach.

The idea was to narrow the stomach by making the pleats, thereby making the stomach unable to hold a lot of food.

Obviously getting to the stomach via the throat vs. cutting into the abdomen is less invasive, less painful, and less risky and it was the first time American doctors have ever used this approach.

The experimental weight loss surgery method is said to be based on the work of a Venezuelan doctor who performed a similar operation on 64 patients and reported promising results after following the group for one year.

While accessing the stomach via the mouth isn't a traditional approach used in bariatric surgery, the doctors at Brigham have been performing operations to repair roux-en-y complications using this method for the past 4 years. They apparently have been compiling data and report no complications in 400 repair operations that were performed by inserting a tube down patients' throats and stitching up torn bypass sites.

If this experimental weight loss surgery pans out, it could be an answer for those who are considered too sick to face the risks associated with traditional bariatric surgery or for those deemed "not heavy enough" to qualify for the traditional procedures.

Coming to hospitals near you?

You likely won't see this new weight loss surgery being offered any time soon. It will take years before it's determined to be safe or effective.

If and when it is finally FDA approved, you'll likely want to find a surgeon who has been adequately trained in the procedure (got an A in home economics sewing) and has had a chance to practice their seamstress skills on someone else before they get their hands on you!

As for a name for the new weight loss surgery procedure? I think it should be called:

  • Neat Pleats?
  • The Accordian?

OK, so maybe nobody will come to me for my opinion!

There are currently 4 types of weight loss surgeries being performed:

While the Gastric Sleeve is currently being performed by some surgeons, it's considered experimental weight loss surgery by many insurance companies and therefore may not be not covered.

More weight loss surgery.

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