Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Here Comes Incision-Free Weight Loss Surgery!

Recently, the first patient in the New York City area received incision free surgery for obesity as part of the ongoing multicenter TOGA Pivotal Trial at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP)/Columbia University Medical Center.

TOGA procedure stands for "transoral gastroplasty.” Performed without creating incisions with surgical instruments, it is designed to alter the patient's stomach anatomy to give them a feeling of fullness after a small meal. Which is similar to many other weightloss procedures. The difference however, is that TOGA was performed under direct endoscopic visualization with specialized instruments passed into the stomach through the mouth without any incisions.

The surgeons believe that the new surgery is a promising option for severely overweight patients who do not respond to diet, exercise and drug therapy. Further, that there were clear benefits of the procedure including less pain, shortened hospital stay, quicker recovery, decreased complications, and of course a lack of scarring. Hence TOGA should suit many patients who are unable to or don't want to undergo invasive surgical procedures.

The effectiveness of the surgery came to light when during a 2006 - 2007 pilot study at medical centers in Mexico and Belgium found that patients receiving the TOGA procedure lost more than a third of their excess body weight. And in a year's time, their excess weight loss averaged almost 40 percent.

In the operations performed as trials two out of three patients will receive the TOGA procedure, while one out of three will receive a control procedure, which is similar to the TOGA procedure except no pouch is created. Then after a year, patients will be told which procedure they received, and patients who received the control procedure will be offered the TOGA procedure if they continue to meet the treatment criteria.

Moreover, once the evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of the TOGA procedure is complete, the researchers will evaluate weight loss and changes in obesity-related health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, cholesterol levels and hypertension. And if successful, the FDA might approve of the TOGA System, which at present only allow patients to be treated outside of clinical trials.

According to WHO, obesity is a global disease affecting over 300 million people. And its many undesirable consequences such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular, are known too well. The surgery might prevent the consequences of obesity and save patients from the pain and routine consumption of pharmaceutical drugs for diabetes, hypertension, etc. And especially help the case of stubborn obesity that doesn't respond well to other weightloss treatments.

Surgery aside, if a drug currently being tested is successful, then we just might need to pop it in and Lose Fat Like A Rat!

1 comment:

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