According to a pilot study, a new weight loss surgery procedure that folds the stomach itself produced excellent weight loss success. The study’s researchers believe that the new procedure remains a great choice for weight loss treatment in the morbidly obese. The gastric plication procedure uses a minimally-invasive technique that dramatically reduces a patient’s stomach size. This is appealing to both patients and surgeons as it has less hospital time post-op as well as a lessened recovery time period. None of the stomach is actually removed during the procedure and there is no cutting, stapling or stitching in the stomach, the study’s researchers said.
Gastric plication is done laparoscopically, which requires not more than 6 incisions in the abdomen area. The recovery time for this low-risk surgical option is quick. The surgery also costs less than more traditional bariatric surgery types. It also is safer than other options and can even be reversed. The procedure also doesn’t have the risks that come with cutting or removing the stomach tissues and there are less complications such as infections or leakages then with other more popular and more invasive bariatric surgeries.
According to early results from this study, the stomach volume of a patient can be reduced as much as two-thirds. With this smaller stomach, the patient will be able to consume less food yet still feel full. Because of this and a lessened recovery time, this procedure may fast become the most widely-accepted and safest bariatric surgery procedures available.
About the Study
This small study evaluated 12 women and 3 men from ages 26 to 58 who have an average body mass index or BMI of 44.3. All the patients are considered morbidly obese. After having the surgery, the patients reported weight loss percentages from 23% for those who only had minimal folding to 53% for those that had considerable more folding.
The surgery can be compared to gastric sleeve surgery, where a long-thin tube is created to make a smaller stomach. However gastric plication is the only procedure that doesn’t use cutting, staples and doesn’t remove the stomach at all. The stomach folding is fastened in place with non-absorptive stitches. Also, none of the intestines are rerouted at all, which means that patients won’t have to worry about malabsorption issues like with gastric bypass and no implants require adjusting such as gastric banding surgery.
It’s not uncommon with pilot studies that some disadvantages are found or emerge from the study. The study’s researchers believe that gastric plication surgery doesn’t have enough long-term data or proven results, which may be a problem with insurance companies providing coverage. Also currently only a handful of weight loss surgery surgeons perform the low-risk procedure. The researchers however do agree that further study needs to be done to better understand the long-term weight loss outcome from gastric plication. Despite that fact, the surgical procedure remains a great alternative for those seeking to lose weight in a less invasive and safer option.