Medical Minute 3-9: Weight Loss Surgery Without a Scar

By: Casey Taylor Email
By: Casey Taylor Email

Veronica Mahaffey was looking for a clean break.

"I lost 12 pounds in the first week."

It's the first time in her life she ever lost so much weight, so fast.

"I was just on no carbs, diet pills -- I hate those -- South Beach, Optifast, did that," said Mahaffey.

At her heaviest Mahaffey was 215 pounds. She became one of the first to take part in the pose clinical trial at U-C San Diego. The idea behind it is similar to other weight loss surgeries such as the lap band, making the stomach smaller so patients feel full.

The difference is that this surgery can be done endoscopically.

"That's down the mouth without any incisions at all," said Garth Jacobsen, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery.

Minimally invasive surgeon Garth Jacobsen threads the endoscope down the throat and into the stomach. He then sutures the top part of the stomach shut, making it smaller by about one-third.

"We're taking the part of the stomach that stretches the most and eliminating the ability of it to stretch," said Dr. Jacobsen.

The pose procedure is first being tested on patients who need to lose 30 to 50 pounds, have a BMI of 28 to 33 and have a history of being overweight or obese for two or more years. Veronica went home the next day, but her diet was strict.

"I can eat three bites, and then I'm done," said Veronica Mahaffey.

At 145 pounds, Veronica is happy with her weight, which has impacted the entire family.

"Happy mom, happy kids, happy everybody."

For more information: Ivanhoe Broadcast News2745 W. Fairbanks Ave.Winter Park, FL 32789http://www.ivanhoe.comJulie Marks, Supervising Producer of Prescription: Healthjmarks@ivanhoe.comDirect Line: (407) 691-1500Viewer Line: (407) 740-0789 ext. 579

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