New Gastric Bypass Procedure Could Help Patients Keep Weight Off

By: CBS News Email
By: CBS News Email

Gastric bypass surgeries result in significant weight loss for most patients... but in some cases the stomach pouch created during the operation can stretch, causing the patient to start gaining weight again.
Now, a new minimally invasive procedure allows the pouch to be fixed - making it easier and safer for the patient.
Six years after gastric bypass surgery, eating became uncomfortable for Stacey Ruffin and she started to gain weight.
"I noticed that when I would digest my food, that something just wasn't right," says Ruffin.
Her doctor told her the stomach pouch created during the bypass had stretched out and needed to be repaired.
"Up till recently, there were only two options, and both of them entailed a surgical procedure," says Dr. J.L. Holup, the Associate Director For Bariatric Surgery at Beth Israel Hospital.
But a new technique -- called stomaphyx -- allows the repair to be done without any cutting.
A device is inserted through the patient's mouth and guided down to the stomach pouch and using an endoscope, the doctor staples the sides of the stomach, making it smaller again.
"About the size of a juice glass, and we brought it to about the size of a silver dollar," Dr. Holup said of the size of a patient's stomach.
Doctors say the procedure can take less than an hour.
That's about half the time of surgical repair.
There's no risk of infection, far less pain after the procedure and recovery time is remarkably reduced.
Ruffin had her stomaphyx on a Thursday and says she was back to work on Monday.
She says the hardest thing she has had to learn is to control how much she eats...
"How i grew up, is that you should always finish what's on your plate. And I can't. That's the bad part about it, but my sons and my boyfriend love it, because I bring food home to them," says Ruffin.
And less is adding up to more for Ruffin, who's now getting back to her goal weight.

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