The stats may make you put down that next bag of chips or candy bar. The number of obese people just surpassed the number of overweight people in this country. Now, 72 million adults are considered obese. Fighting this epidemic is on the forefront in the medical world. Now, a new, less-invasive procedure may give people who need to lose weight new hope.
Veronica Mahaffey was looking for a clean break. What she found…
"I lost 12 pounds in the first week," Mahaffey told Ivanhoe.
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," Mahaffey recalled. At her heaviest she weighed 215 pounds.
"Being overweight, and being shut in your house because of it, is a real barrier,“ Mahaffey said.
Veronica became one of the first to take part in the pose clinical trial at UC San Diego. The idea behind it is similar to other weight loss surgeries such as the lap band. It makes the stomach smaller, so patients feel full. But the difference with this procedure…
"This surgery can be done completely endoscopically,“ Garth Jacobsen, M.D., assistant professor of surgery division of minimally invasive surgery, at UC San Diego explained. “That's down the mouth without any incisions at all."
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,“ Dr. Jacobsen explained.
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,“ Mahaffey recalled.
At 145 pounds, Veronica is happy with her weight, which has impacted the entire family.
"Happy mom, happy kids, happy everybody," Mahaffey said.
And she hopes to keep adding up the weight lost.
While doctors hope the sutures will hold for a lifetime, re-stretching is possible and long-term outcomes are not yet known.