Future of Bariatric Surgery May Include Incisionless Technology
Bariatric surgery is seen as an effective weight-loss tool for people with a BMI greater than 40. New studies indicate that people with a BMI of 30 or more and many comorbidities will also benefit from this surgery. However, with any surgery comes significant risk of complications, and bariatric surgery is no exception. Post-operative infections occur in about 6% of the patients. For this reason, according to USGI Medical in California, the future of bariatric surgery may include incisionless technology.
Understanding the Procedure
Incisionless surgery has been used for treating GERD since 2007. Instead of making an incision into the abdomen wall, the procedure is done using endoscopic technology. Researchers began to investigate new uses for this technology based on its success with GERD patients.
In the procedure, surgeons use a delivery system to go through the mouth and fold the stomach tissue to reduce stomach volume. Small anchors are placed across the folds, and these anchors have adjustable tensioning. The anchors have unique capabilities of being semi-compliant in nature, so that they adjust for post-op swelling while still maintaining the hold on the tissue.
Reducing Post-Op Complications
Although this incisionless procedure won’t reduce all the risks or problems associated with bariatric surgery, it should greatly reduce the number of postoperative complications. With the current surgeries, the most common adverse effects are gastric dumping syndrome, leaks at the surgical site, and incisional hernias. The incisionless procedure will eliminate two of those complications. USGI’s study will include monitoring the patients for the side effects to compare them to outcomes of other types of bariatric surgeries.
Worldwide, over 2500 people have undergone this futuristic procedure. Most return to work in 2-3 days without any evidence of surgery. In Europe, it’s considered an outpatient procedure. The weight loss results are also very promising. At one year following the surgery, the average loss was about 19% of the patient’s total body weight.
Weight loss surgery has many positive effects on an individual. Most people who get the surgery admit that their quality of life improves after the surgery. Many times, a patient’s Type 2 diabetes will go into remission following surgery, and high blood pressure issues are often resolved. The benefits typically outnumber the drawbacks in most people’s minds.
USGI Medical is conducting a large study of more than 300 individuals who will be receiving the incisionless procedure, and they will be following them for at least 2 years. If the results are positive, USGI will be applying for FDA approval of the device. The future of bariatric surgery including incisionless technology looks good.