Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gastroplasty: New bariatric procedure for shrinking the stomach

Miami, FL
Until now shrinking the stomach for weight loss was done through lengthy and risky surgery, but a new procedure can do it in under an hour with no cutting.

When 30-year-old Belinda Guevara's weight peaked at 217 pounds she decided to take action.

"I've heard about gastric bypass," she said. "I've also heard about the gastric banding and I'm really not the type of person that would submit myself to that kind of surgery."

Instead, Guevara opted for a new experimental weight loss procedure that shrinks stomach size without surgery.

It's done by going in through the mouth and down the esophagus.

"We are not removing anatomy were just making the tunnel a little thinner," Dr. Joe Greer said. "This is completely reversible. This is a procedure that takes up to 45 minutes to perform and patients go home within half an hour to an hour after the procedure."

Mercy Hospital in Miami is one of three centers in the U.S. that studies whether vertical gastroplasty is safe and effective.

Dr. Roberto Fogel of Mercy Hospital came up with this procedure in Venezuela.

Using a device that's FDA-approved to treat reflux, he stitches together parts of the stomach to make it smaller.

The procedure has been found to reduce levels of the hormone that controls hunger.

"So you have a little pouch that actually drips the food in one by one," Greer said. "You eat smaller amounts, you're not as hungry and so you lose weight."

Fogel said there have been no serious complications so far.

"We had in Venezuela maybe six or seven patients from the almost 400 with a small bleeding but a bleeding that was controlled in the moment," Fogel said.

Fogel provided before and after photos showing some impressive results.

The procedure costs $8,900 and insurance companies will not cover it because it's considered investigational.

Candidates for the study are people with a body mass index or BMI between 28 and 40, needing to lose less than a hundred pounds and have no chronic health conditions.

"Morbidly obese patients still should go for gastric bypass surgery," Greer said.

Two days after her gastroplasty, Guevara said she felt great and has noticed a big difference in her appetite.

"I'm not hungry, which is great because you don't have the urge and you don't have the sensation to just eat," she said. "It's incredible because you would never think that you would feel full having soup and having a small amount of soup. I'm already full."

Guevara said her goal is to lose 60 pounds.

Her doctors said most of that should be gone in six months.

Labels: ,

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at


Post a Comment

<< Home