Noninvasive Alternative to Gastric Bypass Surgery

In the recent years, one of the procedures which had become popular as a treatment to morbid obesity is gastric bypass surgery. Unfortunately, that’s synonymous to going under the knife. With a reputable hospital and able doctors, I suppose the chances of anything unlikely happening are slim. But, as I’ve mentioned before, the only way forward in medical science is to devise non-invasive methods like pulling an appendix out of one’s mouth . Now, appendix-pulling aside, what if there’s a tool that enables something that’s similar to a gastric bypass surgery to be done without the need to be cut open? And what if I tell you that the very same tool that’s going to be used for it could also be used to treat gastroesophageal-reflux disease (GERD), a condition wherein which food travels backward from the stomach into the esophagus. Crazy, right? Perhaps, but definitely not impossible.

Image: barrettsinfo.comImage: barrettsinfo.comCharles J. Filipi, M.D., a surgery professor from Creighton University School of Medicine recently reported a gastroplasty device which could address both disorders. On both cases of treatment, the procedure begins via inserting the device through one’s mouth down to the esophagus. For cases of obesity, the device is used to suction opposite sides of the stomach, impale the stomach lining, and then suture the lining together to form a pouch. For GERD on the other hand, the device only goes as far the bottom of the esophagus. Since the condition is characterized by the improper closure of the gastroesophageal junction (the junction in between the esophagus and the stomach), the gastroplasty device is used to suture this area instead.

A Miami-based medical device company called SafeStitch Medical Inc. (which is owned by Filipi, by the way) is currently developing the device. Of course, nobody really expects it to be available soon, but it looks like it’s already had its share of human trials this year.

Source: Science Daily