Advances in weight-loss surgery techniques hold out increased hope for the many thousands of people who struggle every day with the health consequences of being overweight. Particularly encouraging is the trend toward the development of safer incisionless procedures.
New POSE Incisionless Weight Loss Surgery is Breaking Ground in Louisiana
POSE–which is short for Primary Obesity Surgery, Endolumenal–is one of the latest of these new approaches to bariatric surgery. As of mid-2009 only three practices in the country were offering this method, which works by decreasing the overweight patient’s stomach capacity.
People living in the Covington, Louisiana, area are among the few lucky folks with access to a nearby facility providing the POSE procedure—The Surgical Specialists of Louisiana, and Drs. Michael J. Thomas and Thomas E. Lavin.
Advantages of POSE Non-Invasive Weight Loss Surgery
Most people are aware of the advantages of low-impact laparoscopic surgical techniques, but surgery that requires no incision at all reduces the risks even further. As Dr. Thomas notes, there is “reduced risk of infection, less post-operative pain, faster recovery time and no visible scars.”
Recovery is so swift that Louisiana patients Clyde Harper and Cindy Babylon needed only one night of clinical care and observation before returning home and even to work within a matter of days. The very abbreviated downtime required makes this kind of treatment far more attractive and financially manageable for people who cannot afford lengthy hospital stays or time away from their daily responsibilities.
The POSE procedure is made possible through the use of a flexible endoscope and a device called the Incisionless Operating Platform (IOP), which was developed by USGI Medical, Inc. in San Clemente, CA. The surgeon inserts the endoscope orally, which provides a view of the stomach while the IOP provides the tools needed to apply suture anchors to the stomach wall, creating folds of tissue and shrinking the stomach’s capacity.
Data about the experience and success rates of patients like Clyde Harper and Cindy Babylon of The Surgical Specialists practice will be recorded in a Data Registry to evaluate the new POSE bariatric treatment. So far the results look very promising: Clyde has succeeded in losing 45 pounds following surgery and his diabetes symptoms have fully resolved. After losing 29 pounds, Cindy has been able to discontinue taking the medications she used to require for her high blood pressure and diabetes.
Like any other bariatric weight-loss treatment, such as LapBand and Roux-en-Y, POSE is not a stand-alone cure for obesity. Successful long-term weight loss requires sustained lifestyle and diet changes. But given the extent of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and indeed worldwide, new techniques like POSE and another new incisionless operation called ROSE (Restorative Obesity Surgery, Endolumenal) do offer more and safer opportunities for overweight people to jump start a new approach to regaining their health.
Like all weight-loss surgery, POSE and ROSE must be administered by highly trained and experienced specialists, like Dr. Lavin (M.D., Medical College of Ohio) and Dr. Thomas (M.D., LSU), both of whom are board certified surgeons and bariatric specialists. And like most high-quality weight-loss practices, they offer a full spectrum of services to their patients, including extensive pre- and post-operative consultation and follow-up support.