A New Gastric Bypass Procedure on the Rise
Medical procedures and practices, like Bariatric surgeries, are constantly evolving. We have come a long way in leaps and bounds from weight loss procedures that required wiring someone’s jaw shut to suppressing various hormones that are constantly telling patients that are hungry.
We at Alabariatrics may be a small weight loss surgery company, but that doesn’t mean we don’t keep up with the latest in bariatric and weight loss surgery news. Indeed, Dr. Suggs and company from his Alabama weight loss surgery clinic keep their ear to the ground for the latest and greatest procedures.
But there is a fine line that one must balance when adopting or canonizing a revolutionary medical technique. Because like scientists testing a hypothesis, we need to collect enough data through experimentation before it can be declared as something useful or effective.
So, we are going to dive in, and look at the information that we have behind this new procedure to introduce the concept of LGCP properly.
What makes this procedure interesting is that it does not require the removal of any part of the stomach tissue, nor does it require the addition of a foreign object like a band or a balloon. It does, however, require surgical alteration of the entire stomach and like any other surgical procedure, it will leave you sore the minute you wake up.
The doctor first makes 4 to 5 incisions on the outer skin of the stomach and insert the tools they need from there to reach the greater curvature of the stomach.
The greater curvature is the largest outer curve of the stomach that faces outward toward the rest of the body. From there, that section of the stomach is folded inward twice over, then is sutured shut to keep the folds in place. And that’s all it takes. As I mentioned before, there was no need for the removal of the stomach and there is barely any need for foreign entities.
Now that we know what it is, the next question about this whole thing is…
When Did It Start?
The first peer recorded scientific record of the procedure was published August 2012. It debuted in the Obesity Surgery publication and was titled “Laparoscopic greater curvature plication (LGCP) for treatment of morbid obesity in a series of 244 patients”. The doctors who performed the procedure hailed from the Czech Republic, the United States, and Germany respectively and recorded their results after a two-year period of performing the procedure from 2010 to 2012.
Their abstract explains their method in medical terminology and if you want to read the whole publication, then It is available for purchase here.
Their recorded short-term results were fascinating to say the least.
What were the Results?
According to the study, the average operation time was a little over an hour at 70 minutes and the average hospitalization totaled at 36 hours. When compared to other gastric procedures like Roux-en-Y, it is a major cutdown in the surgery time but adds a little more time for the recovery process. As far as side effects were concerned, 28% of patients experienced post-operative nausea, and any major complications that required corrective surgery came at 1.2%. The most amazing part of the data was that there was a recorded mortality rate of 0% and there had been no signs of malabsorption, meaning that patients were able to absorb the vitamins and nutrients that were needed without the need for additional supplements.
Where weight loss was involved, patients with a BMI of over 40% had a higher weight loss rate than those with a BMI of less than 40% after six months. The differences were no longer so significant after 9 months progress, but at the end of that time the patients averaged out an excessive weight loss of 40%
So why isn’t it a widespread practice?
As much as we in the Alabama weight loss surgery business would love to incorporate the latest and greatest bariatric procedures, these aren’t considered conclusive results by the standard scientific community. It was a small amount of data from one experiment. For something to be guaranteed in a scientific or medical community, the hypothesis needs to be tested several times over for definitive results. Unless the medical procedure can be replicated, and the results are mostly consistent, it cannot be considered a viable weight loss surgery.
There are also legal and ethical factors to consider and finding willing participants for any procedure that is not guaranteed any definitive result is hard.
The good news is that there are more tests and publications made about this procedure all over the world, and thanks to the internet, the data can be shared much faster in the medical community than it used to be. So, it might take a few years, but I have a feeling that a LGCP surgery will soon find a place in Alabama weight loss surgery.