WLS Help Highlights Top 5 Most Promising New Weight Loss Procedures for Obesity

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The editors of WLS Help reveal their list of the top five most promising new surgical and non-surgical weight loss procedures for obesity.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Weight loss results seen with sleeve gastrectomy are similar to those achieved with gastric bypass surgery and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, but without the disadvantages of either.

WLS Help (http://www.wlshelp.com), a leading weight loss surgery informational website, is revealing their list of the top five most promising new surgical and non-surgical weight loss procedures for obesity. The recent advancement of these innovative weight loss interventions could greatly expand the range of proven treatment options and revolutionize the way obesity is treated in the near future.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as the gastric sleeve, is one of the newest surgical options. Once considered only a part of a staged duodenal switch procedure, it is gaining popularity among both bariatric surgeons and patients as a stand-alone operation. A few major insurers have recently added sleeve gastrectomy among its covered bariatric procedures.

With sleeve gastrectomy, the stomach is surgically reduced in size so it resembles a small tube. The procedure assists with weight loss by limiting the amount of food consumed as well as minimizing hunger sensations. Hunger is reduced due to the removal of the portion of the stomach wall that produces ghrelin, the hunger hormone.

Weight loss results seen with sleeve gastrectomy are similar to those achieved with gastric bypass surgery and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, but without the disadvantages of either. Although short-term data have been positive, long-term results are not available. It is unknown whether or not sleeve gastrectomy will prove successful in the long-term.

EndoBarrier

The EndoBarrier™ Gastrointestinal Liner, or GI sleeve, is a non-surgical, endoscopic therapy for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Developed by GI Dynamics, the medical device features a Teflon-like liner that acts as a barrier between food and a portion of the small intestine where digestion occurs. The procedure does not require surgical incisions, does not alter the anatomy, and is removed after the treatment period.

The EndoBarrier was approved in December 2009 for use in Europe and is in advanced stages of clinical development in the United States. The most recent study results show that obese patients lost an average of 20 percent of their body weight, or 49.5 pounds, following 12 months of therapy with the EndoBarrier. Based on clinical evidence to date, the EndoBarrier technology led to significant weight loss and diabetes improvement.

TOGA

Designed as a less-invasive alternative to gastric bypass and lap band surgery, the TOGA® System from Satiety, Inc. is an incision-free treatment for obesity. TOGA, or trans-oral gastroplasty, is an endoscopic (through the mouth) procedure that involves stapling together sections of the stomach in order to reduce it’s overall food capacity. As a result, it limits the amount of food that can be eaten and gives the feeling of fullness after a small meal.

While the TOGA weight loss procedure is currently investigational in the United States, results seen in the FDA trial to date have been positive. Clinical trials started in July 2008 with an estimated primary completion date of October 2010. If the TOGA System continues to show positive results, it will provide individuals with an effective and less-invasive treatment for obesity.

POSE

The POSE (Primary Obesity Surgery, Endolumenal) procedure is an incisionless, endoscopic procedure that reduces the size of a patient’s stomach pouch and stoma without external incisions.

To perform POSE, surgeons use a special set of surgery tools and specially designed suture anchors to fasten folds of stomach tissue together, which are both manufactured by USGI Medical. The anchors are reported to hold stomach tissue in place up to two years. This is the same system that is used to perform the ROSE (Restorative Obesity Surgery, Endolumenal) procedure, a revision for gastric bypass patients with weight regain.

The POSE is currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Patients who have participated in the study have cited a dramatic decrease in hunger and stomach capacity which has helped them achieve significant weight loss.

Gastric Plication Surgery

One of the newest weight loss procedures is Gastric Plication Surgery (GPS), a "Gastric Sleeve" that resembles Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy but does not involve staples, cutting, or stomach removal. Rather, the GPS procedure reduces the stomach volume by folding the stomach in on itself and then stitching it together to keep it folded in on itself.

The GPS procedure seems to have many benefits compared to other bariatric procedures, including no malabsorption like gastric bypass, no need for a port or adjustments like gastric banding, and no staple lines or stomach removal like sleeve gastrectomy. It is also currently the lowest cost weight loss procedure available since it does not involve expensive medical devices.

Early results of the GPS procedure show that patients are full on a small amount of food. Weight loss results are satisfactory and compares favorably with other bariatric surgeries. The only downside at this time is the lack of long term data.

About Obesity and Weight Loss Surgery

Obesity is a chronic disease affecting the health, longevity, and quality of life for millions of Americans. In spite of this awareness and ongoing efforts in the prevention and treatment of weight issues, obesity rates continue to rise. While obesity is proving a difficult disease to treat, it has also pushed the search for safer, more effective, and durable treatment options.

Weight loss surgery is currently the most effective approach for treating morbid obesity, yet only a few surgical options exist. The two primary procedures, gastric bypass surgery and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, are considered successful weight loss interventions, yet they are not perfect solutions. As a result, researchers have continued to seek and develop better treatment options.

About WLS Help

WLS Help, A Patient Guide to Weight Loss Surgery, is a leading weight loss surgery informational website focused on providing a comprehensive resource for obesity and weight loss surgery. WLS Help offers essential information pertaining to weight loss surgery, including comparisons and overviews of all major types of weight loss surgery, bariatric surgery diet guidelines, cost of weight loss surgery, insurance coverage, and news related to obesity, surgical treatment options for obesity, and promising experimental techniques for obesity. For more information or to follow weight loss surgery news, visit WLS Help at http://www.wlshelp.com.

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Kerri Seidler
WLS Help
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