Med Edge Non-invasive Obesity Operation

Posted at: 04/16/2013 10:44 AM
Updated at: 04/16/2013 5:37 PM
By: Kenny King

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- With two-thirds of the American population overweight, and an obesity epidemic creating a host of medical maladies, Mayo Clinic may have found a minimally invasive solution.

“At least half of those people could possibly benefit from something like this,” Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology expert, Christopher Gostout, M.D., said. “So, we have a technique that, as I mentioned, will reduce the stomach into kind of a sausage shape…we're probably reducing it about 90 percent.”

Unlike gastric bypass options, there is no re-routing of the digestive tract; unlike gastric sleeve surgery that removes a portion of the stomach, Dr. Gostout’s approach does not require cutting.

Instead, an endoscope is inserted through the mouth and down the esophagus so double rows of stitches can be placed.

The first row shrinks the stomach; the second one forms the actual tube. They're a series of opposing stitches that go through the wall of the stomach that are joined together.

In a pilot study, all 6 patients lost more than the target goal of 20 pounds in three to six months. One patient dropped 45 pounds in just six weeks.

Dr. Gostout believes this will become a valuable therapeutic option for many people with weight-related diseases.

Mayo Clinic hopes to begin offering the procedure to patients within a year.