New Surgical Weight Loss Procedure Without Incisions

It’s nothing to do with Roman attire or crazy parties wearing bed linen, the TOGA or transoral gastroplasty is a new experimental weight loss surgery for individuals suffering from obesity. This operation is used to make obese individuals feel fuller after eating a very small meal and proves to be a less painful and invasive procedure than other weight loss surgeries. This operation’s aim is to minimize risks and to expedite recovery to a healthy weight.
In the past, when surgeries were performed large incisions were required. New technology has allowed for much smaller incisions and many surgeries are routinely performed through tiny slits less than a centimeter long. Most weight loss surgeries are being performed using tiny video cameras that are inserted into the body so that the surgeons can operate laparoscopically. The TOGA takes this style of surgery to the next level by using a natural body opening to enter the body, thus requiring no incisions.

The TOGA procedure begins with a standard endoscope being passed through the mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach. The esophagus is gently stretched to allow the TOGA device to be inserted into the stomach where it is used to form a narrow tube from the stomach wall. The tube is then stapled using the TOGA device and a second stapler is used to form a narrow exit from the stomach tube.

The small stomach tube restricts the amount of food the patient can eat at one time and the narrow exit from the tube slows the passage of food through the stomach allowing the person to feel full for longer. The combination of reduced hunger and smaller meals limits the calories the person is eating and weight loss results.

The TOGA procedure is similar to LAP BAND and REALIZE gastric band surgeries because it restricts the amount of calories that a person can eat. However, TOGA represents a shift from laparoscopic surgery to the newer techniques of incisionless surgeries such as StomaphyX and ROSE procedures used for revising previous gastric bypass surgeries. Both of these procedures are performed through the patient’s mouth so there are no incisions in the abdominal wall. Transoral (through the mouth) procedures are associated with reduced risk and less discomfort than procedures that require incisions.

TOGA is currently being evaluated by the FDA through clinical trials to ensure its safety. Clinical trials are expected to conclude in October 2010.

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