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Georgia Coast Surgical Performs First Incisionless Surgical Correction of Failed Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VBG)
Date:5/4/2009

Scar-Free Procedure Offers First Viable Revision Option to Patients with Unsuccessful VBG

BRUNSWICK, Ga., May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Coast Surgical's Peter Henderson, MD, has become the first surgeon in the United States to use incisionless surgery techniques and tools to correct a failed vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG). Dr. Henderson, who operates at the Southeast Georgia Health System Bariatric Care Center, completed the first of this type of incisionless procedure on April 27th. Surgeon Harold L. Kent, M.D. assisted Dr. Henderson with the procedure.

VBG was the most common type of "restrictive" obesity surgery performed in the 1980s and 1990s. This procedure has been largely abandoned due to disappointing results with respect to weight regain and a high rate of complications.

"This incisionless revision procedure offers a second chance to many of the thousands of patients who have struggled following ineffective VBGs," Dr. Henderson said. "Prior to emergence of incisionless surgery techniques for bariatrics, these patients could choose either to do nothing and watch their health decline as they regained weight, or undergo painful, complex revision surgeries that carry significant risk because of the scar tissue buildup from their original surgery. Typically, a traditional VBG revision involves a long painful incision in the abdomen and weeks of recovery.

"By eliminating skin incisions and the tedious dissection of scar tissue in the abdomen, this new incisionless approach reduces the risk of a traditional VBG revision," Dr. Henderson explained. "Additionally, this, like other incisionless methods, may provide additional important advantages over open or laparoscopic procedures including reduced risk of infection and associated complications, less post-operative pain, faster recovery time and no abdominal scars."

Henderson and his colleagues at Georgia Coast Surgical are some of the first surgeons in the U.S. to adopt incisionless surgery techniques, which represent the next wave of minimally invasive surgery. They also offer an incisionless revision procedure known as "ROSE" (Revision Obesity Surgery, Endolumenal) to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients who have started to regain weight because of changes in their anatomy.

The patient, Alicia Warner, a 45-year-old woman from Richmond Hill, Georgia, always struggled with her weight and decided to undergo VBG 18 years ago. The procedure was very successful initially, helping her lose almost 100 pounds. Two years ago, however, the weight started coming back.

"I never knew there were any procedures available to address my weight regain," Warner said. "I thought my original procedure was my last chance."

Warner saw an ad about Georgia Coast Surgical's incisionless revision surgeries and decided to come in for a consultation. After an initial screening, she decided to undergo the procedure.

"The incisionless surgery only took a few hours and I returned home right afterwards," Warner, who works three jobs, said. "My throat felt a little swollen because of the tools that had been passed into my stomach and I was a bit uncomfortable, but every day since I've been fine. I was back at work two days later."

For her original VBG procedure, Warner was hospitalized for five days and spent almost eight weeks recovering.

Dr. Henderson used a small, flexible endoscope and an Incisionless Operating Platform(TM) (IOP) developed by USGI Medical Inc. to perform the procedure entirely through the patient's mouth. The IOP tools are used to grasp tissue and deploy suture anchors to create multiple tissue folds in the stomach pouch, allowing the surgeon to reduce the volume to more closely match original VBG proportions.

More than 15 million people in the United States suffer from severe obesity and the numbers continue to grow. Surgical treatment of obesity has increased significantly in recent years. Over 200,000 individuals in the United States underwent bariatric surgery 2007, and it is estimated that over 125,000 patients today are candidates waiting for an incisionless revision procedure.

Dr. Peter Henderson is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a board-certified member of the American Board of Surgery. He received his MD from Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta, Georgia and performed his residency at the United States Naval Regional Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia. Dr. Henderson has cared for patients in South Georgia for 24 years.

The Bariatric Surgery Program at Georgia Coast Surgical makes a long-term commitment to patients' health and guides them from pre-surgery consultation and testing through surgery, recovery and continuing support. Georgia Coast Surgical specializes in Incisionless and laparoscopic weight-loss surgery.

The Southeast Georgia Health System Bariatric Care Center is an American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. The Center also meets the criteria established by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association for participation in the Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery.

For more information on the Bariatric Surgery Program at Georgia Coast Surgical, the Incisionless weight loss procedures, or to schedule a consultation, call 1-866-459-LIVE (5483) or visit http://www.georgiacoastsurgical.com/.

About Incisionless Surgery

Incisionless Surgery is the next wave in minimally invasive surgery and is rapidly becoming an option demanded by patients, insurers and healthcare providers for its potential to minimize pain, shorten hospital stays, lower treatment costs and eliminate visible external scars. Incisionless Surgery, which encompasses Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES), endolumenal and single-port techniques, can be applied bariatric surgery, cholecystectomy, appendectomy, GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), gastrointestinal cancer and urological and gynecological procedures.

    Media Inquiries:

    Hollister Hovey
    Lazar Partners
    646-871-8482
    hhovey@lazarpartners.com

    Cindy Robinson
    Southeast Georgia Health System
    912-466-7012
    carobinson@sghs.org


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SOURCE Georgia Coast Surgical
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