Medical Minute 12-8: Shrinking Stomachs - A New Way

By: Melissa Medalie Email
By: Melissa Medalie Email

With a lifetime of failed diets, and a job that keeps her sitting eight hours a day, 54-year-old Teresa Flowers was ready to try something big.

"It's very frustrating to be obese and feel like your back is up against a wall and there's basically no hope," said Teresa Flowers.

She became one of the first patients in the U.S. to undergo a new experimental weight loss surgery called gastric imbrication. The procedure shrinks the volume of the stomach by 90% by folding and stitching it into a small, narrow tube.

"And that translates into easy filling of the stomach but eating less quantity of food," said Sunil K. Sharma, M.D., University of Florida Weight loss surgery Institute in Jacksonville, Florida.

"The fact that my stomach is only ten percent the size that it was, it makes me make a conscious effort to not eat, and to eat wisely," said Teresa Flowers.

The minimally invasive procedure is performed through several small incisions in the abdomen, or one cut through the belly button. In a pilot study in India, with 30 patients, participants lost 40% of their excess weight within the first year after surgery, with quicker recovery and fewer complications.

Just two weeks after surgery, Teresa's lost 23 pounds. She's ready to drop a lot more.

"I started at 313. I'd love to be down to about a hundred fifty pounds," said Teresa Flowers.

This time, she believes she can do it.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Sunil K. Sharma, MD University of Florida Weight Loss Institute(904) 633

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