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ACG: Transoral Gastroplasty Studied as Obesity Treatment

Possible benefits of minimally invasive technique seen in several types of procedures

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A new, minimally invasive surgical technique -- endoscopic-guided transoral gastroplasty -- may be a promising treatment for patients with morbid obesity and possibly to perform cholecystectomy, according to three studies presented this week at the 71st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Las Vegas. During the procedure, an endoscope introduced through the mouth or nose is used to gain access to the abdomen.

Steven Edmundowicz, M.D., of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues performed the procedure on 12 morbidly obese Hispanic patients and observed a resulting weight loss of 12 to 28 pounds after one month.

In a related study, Carla Rolanda, M.D., of the University of Minho in Braga, Portugal, and colleagues found that transoral techniques could be used to perform cholecystectomy in female pigs. And in another study, Michael Kochman, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues used a two-step transoral technique to provide an air-tight closure in two pigs with stomach-wall defects.

"This pilot study demonstrated that the device could be used in humans without major complications," Edmundowicz said in a statement. "The future of transoral gastroplasty will be defined by well-designed clinical studies to demonstrate the efficacy of this procedure in generating short- and long-term weight loss in morbidly obese patients."

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