Recent Advances in Weight Loss Surgery


Recent Advances in Weight Loss Surgery

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Weight loss surgery, in one form or another, has been around for more than 50 years. For patients considering any of the procedures available today, it should be comforting to know that recent advances in weight loss surgery have improved the reliability of frequently performed procedures. There are also promising new procedures and techniques that could be readily available in the future. Consider some of the recent advances in weight loss surgery as you determine if it’s the right option for you.

Surgery Without Incisions or Scars

A new procedure referred to as primary obesity surgery endolumenal folds the stomach into pleats to reduce its capacity to hold food. The procedure is performed with a tube extended down the throat. Patients can usually go home the same day since there are no incisions. Already approved in the United Kingdom, the procedure is now being tested in the United States.

Gastric Plication as an Enhancement to Lap-Band Surgery

Gastric plication is a fairly new addition to a traditional laparoscopic procedure that involves folding the stomach below the band and holding it in place with stitches. It’s a minimally invasive technique that may reduce total stomach volume by as much as 70 percent when combined with the placement of a band around the stomach. A study on gastric plication found that excess weight loss a year after surgery was more than 50 percent and nearly 70 percent at four years.

New Gastric Bypass Modification

A clinical trial is being conducted to test a new endoscopic suturing technique that may be used to improve results for patients who opt to have a gastric bypass. The technique is intended to serve as a modification procedure for patients who have either regained the weight after the initial procedure or haven’t experienced sufficient weight loss.

Hand Device Being Used During Lap-Band Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery refers to the use of minimally invasive techniques to place a band around the stomach. The procedure is performed with the assistance of a video camera and several specialized instruments. What’s new is the use of hand-access devices. With the HandPort System, the surgeon inserts their hand into the abdomen to provide added guidance with the instruments being used for the procedure. Such devices give the surgeon more control with placement.

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has updated its guidelines for weight loss surgery in recent years. It is now recommended that patient goals and motivation be considered when determining which procedure is most appropriate. And sleeve gastrectomy is no longer classified as “investigational” because there is credible evidence suggesting the procedure can have benefits similar to other common weight loss surgeries.