Another study presented this week suggested that for severely overweight teens, a gentler weight-loss surgery may be possible. Dr. Roberto Fogel, of the Hospital de Clinicas Caracas, in Venezuela, presented the results of his pilot investigation of 12 teens, who underwent a surgery called endoluminal vertical gastroplasty, or EVG.
During the surgery, Fogel sutures the walls of the stomach, reducing the volume of the stomach but leaving a passageway for food. The procedure is done through the mouth; a scope containing a needle and sutures is inserted multiple times to perform the procedure.
After 60 to 90 minutes, the patient can go home, said Fogel, who does the surgery on an outpatient basis. Once the procedure is done, the patient gets full on very little food, he said.
At a six-month follow-up, Fogel found that all 12 patients had lost weight. The average body mass index, or BMI, was reduced from 38.1 to 27.8; a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.
Fogel sees the new procedure, which he has performed on 331 teens since 2005, as a possible alternative to more invasive surgeries, or diet and exercise programs that prove ineffective for some obese teens.
But he cautioned that the technique needs further investigation with longer follow-up.
In another obesity-related study presented at the conference, Erica Roberson, a postgraduate researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reported that fecal incontinence and urinary incontinence are little talked about but real problems for patients both before and after bariatric surgery.
While fecal incontinence tends to worsen after bariatric surgery, urinary incontinence tends to improve. Patients often don't talk about these problems with their doctors, she said.
Roberson evaluated 194 survey responses from bariatric surgery patients, more than 80 percent of them women, roughly two years after the surgery. Al
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