If you need to lose more than 100 pounds, your doctor may have recommended gastric bypass surgery or gastric banding surgery to spur weight loss. However, these types of bariatric surgery procedures are fairly extensive and do have several risks. There are now some other options for prospective bariatric patients: incisionless weight loss surgery.
Incisionless bariatric surgery is designed to mimic the effects of bariatric surgery procedures by restricting the amount of nutrients that can be absorbed at any given time. The techniques involve accessing the stomach through the mouth or the nose, instead of cutting into the stomach area directly.
The two types of incisionless surgery techniques include transoral gastroplasty (TOGA) and primary obesity surgery endoluminal (POSE). TOGA is similar to the gastric banding procedure that limits the amount of food that can be eaten at any given time. POSE is similar to gastric bypass surgery, and works by reducing stomach volume and modifying the intestinal tract.
How Incisionless Weight Loss Surgery Works
Incisionless weight loss surgery is performed under general anesthesia, and involves inserting a set of tools, including an endoscope, down into the stomach area either through the esophagus, or down the nasal passage. These procedures do not involve any incisions or cutting, and the surgeon is able to gather the folds of the stomach tissue and staple them together within a few minutes after the tools have been aligned in the stomach.
The first incisionless bariatric surgery procedure was performed on February 16, 2010 at the Central Baptist Hospital. Bariatric surgeon Peter M. Denk, M.D. performed the Primary Obesity Surgery Endoscopy (POSE) using the EndoSurgical Operating System™ manufactured by USGI Medical. The endoscope was inserted through the mouth, and EOS tools were used to grasp the stomach tissue and insert suture anchors to create multiple folds, reducing the stomach’s capacity. The procedure was performed on a 51-year-old woman, and she was able to return home the same day of the procedure, and resume normal activities shortly after the procedure.
Key Benefits of Incisionless Weight Loss Surgery
Incisionless weight loss procedures are designed for moderately obese patients who do not want to undergo riskier bariatric procedures such as gastric bypass surgery or gastric banding surgery. In both procedures, the volume of the stomach is reduced so the patient is simply satisfied with less food. When fewer calories are absorbed, the patient begins to lose weight naturally.
Some of the key benefits of incisionless weight loss surgery include:
Less risky than traditional bariatric surgery methods
Can be performed in one visit
Patient can undergo a nutritional evaluation and diet plan to trigger weight loss
Does not involve extensive downtime
Offers results similar to traditional surgery
Less post-operative pain
No abdominal scarring
Reduced risk of infection
Patients can return to work immediately after the procedure
Learn more about the latest techniques in bariatric surgery in our information guide, or consult with a bariatric surgeon in your area to find out if you may be a good candidate for an incisionless weight loss surgery procedure.