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Weight loss surgery without an incision

October 6, 2008 |

When diet and exercise are not enough some people are turning to surgery to help those lose weight. But those involve cutting into the stomach and changing anatomy. Now there’s a new, less invasive, option.

Yo yo diets are nothing new for Liliana Gomez-Guerrero. Ever since I hit puberty my weight was up and down,” said Gomez-Guerrero. But as a mother with young children, she can’t take the issue lightly especially with a family history of health problems.

“One of my uncles passed away two years ago from coronary artery disease, he also had diabetes, so I don’t want to fall into that category,” said Gomez-Guerrero. She considered gastric bypass, but then she heard about a less invasive way to do it.

An experimental procedure at Cedars Sinai called toga.

“Well the toga procedure is a very exciting step forward. There has been a lot of interest in continuing our journey to less invasive procedures. And one of the least invasive ways to perform surgery is to go through the mouth, a natural orifice that doesn’t involve cutting or scars or incisions,” said surgeon Dr. Edward Phillips.

A flexible device is passed through the mouth and down to the stomach.  Once in the stomach, it staples part of the stomach together to create a small pouch. It’s like having a big room, like the stomach, and putting in a partition or a wall in the room, separating it into two rooms,” said Phillips.

It keeps food inside that new tubularized stomach and allows them to feel full,” said Bariatric Surgeon Dr. Kai Nishi.

Unlike gastric bypass, no part of the stomach is removed and there is no rerouting of the intestinal tract is done.  That means fewer side effects.

“Overseas the results range from 40-50 percent excess body weight loss in a 6 month to 1 year period, which is equivalent the adjustable band,” said Dr. Nishi.

“Little bit of discomfort in my throat but other than that, no pain in the abdominal area,” said Gomez-Guerrero.

A month after the procedure and a strict diet, lily has lost 20 pounds.  She is selling her old clothes at a yard sale!
“I feel great. I feel good especially with the clothes fitting a lot better,” said Gomez-Guerrero.


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