A New Tool in the Battle of the Bulge?
A recent story in the Los Angeles Times highlighted a medical study that could result in an alternative surgery for weight loss. For many people who have struggled with obesity, the best option has been the gastric bypass or similar procedures. But now, a procedure used to treat bleeding in the stomach may provide a simpler alternative for many of these patients.
Here at our practice, we have performed countless tummy tucks and body lift procedures on patients who have successfully lost a large amount of weight. These patients almost always feel much better after having shed the extra pounds, and we hope that everyone who wants to overcome obesity is able to do so. This revolutionary has the potential to make that dream closer than ever before.
Gastric artery embolization, as the procedure is known, is designed to reduce the flow of blood to the gastric fundus. This upper part of the stomach is one of the main producers of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for triggering hunger. In the study, patients who underwent this procedure lost an average of 7.9% of their body weight. The control group, who underwent a similar procedure, only lost 1.2% of their body weight.
The advantage of gastric artery embolization over procedures like the gastric bypass is that it is considered a one-day procedure. Patients interested in curbing appetite effectively in order to lose weight may soon have the option of this easier procedure. However, it is still unclear if this procedure would be safe for patients who are obese but otherwise healthy.
With obesity levels in the United States leveling off and new procedures like these to help even more people, winning the battle of the bulge may finally be possible, at least for most people. And we’re always happy to see patients who have reached their weight loss goals.