Weight loss surgery is considered the last resort for most seriously obese people, it is only considered after other treatments and approaches have failed. There are now new advanced procedures that use safer techniques, bariatric surgery is more frequently viewed as the best solution by an increasing number of patients who are significantly overweight.
The following are some of the innovate new procedures that health experts believe will lead to great changes in the way obesity and type 2 diabetes are treated.
A variety of endoscopic methods, also called natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery, are among these new surgical approaches. To minimize the need for incisions, which leave scars and require a longer recovery period, natural openings in the body are accessed in this type of technique.
Clinical trials are underway for a number of procedures awaiting FDA approval. Of these, the three that are viewed as especially safe and effective are POSE, EndoBarrier TOGA. The FDA has approved the StomaphyX and ROSE for gastric bypass revision.
POSE (Primary Obesity Surgery, Endolumenal) is done with a specially made type of endoscopic surgery tools known as the EndoSurgical Operating System (EOS), along with a flexible endoscope that allows surgeons to visualize the part of the stomach they are operating on. This system is also used for the ROSE (Restorative Obesity Surgery, Endoluminal) procedure, which involves revising previous gastric bypass procedures for patients who have experienced significant weight gain. Clinical trials are currently underway to evaluate the effectiveness of POSE.
The EndoBarrier is a form of non-surgical therapy that is being used to treat obesity as well as a related disease, type 2 diabetes. The EndoBarrier is a liner for the intestines that is used to create a barrier between food that is consumed and the area of the small intestine where digestion takes place. This barrier is inserted into the stomach through the mouth (endoscopically), and requires no surgical incisions. It also can be removed after a six-month waiting period, and it doesn’t involve any changes to the patient’s anatomy. Currently in clinical trials in the U.S., the EndoBarrier is showing positive results comparable to the kind of success that is generally found with gastric bypass surgery. In December 2009, the EndoBarrier was given the European CE approval for use in Europe.
TOGA, or transoral gastroplasty, was developed by Satiety, Inc., as a treatment option which uses no incisions. In the TOGA procedure, surgeons create a sleeve in the stomach, which produces the same type of results found in other weight loss procedures, namely reducing the amount of food that a patient can eat, and giving the patient a feeling of fullness after eating only a small amount. This treatment involves inserting, through the mouth, specially made medical instruments – flexible staplers – that are used to staple the stomach. To date, studies done on the TOGA procedure have shown very positive outcomes.
All of these innovative procedures and treatments give obese patients more, and safer, options in bariatric surgery. As well, they have the potential to be able to help those patients who don’t meet the patient criteria for bariatric surgery (including gastric bypass surgery and laparoscopic adjustable gastric binding).
With obesity and related medical problems becoming an epidemic in the U.S., it is encouraging to see the emergence of new bariatric treatments in the medical field designed to improve the overall health, quality of life, and longevity of people who suffer from morbid obesity and diabetes.