June 2 (HealthDay News) -- A new weight-loss procedure that involves sewing together the sides of the stomach holds promise as an alternative to traditional gastric bypass surgery, suggest preliminary findings from a clinical trial.
The incision-less procedure, called transoral gastric volume reduction (TGVR), prevents the stomach from relaxing to accept food. This reduces feelings of hunger and allows patients to feel full with less food, explained researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
Their ongoing clinical trial includes 18 patients with body mass index scores (BMIs) ranging from 30 to 45. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Nine months after undergoing TGVR, six patients had achieved a mean weight loss of 36.5 lbs. (an average of 34.4 percent of excess weight lost) and a reduction of waist circumference from 48 to 42.2 inches.
Six months after the procedure, the other 12 patients have achieved a mean loss of 27.9 lbs. (an average of 30.4 percent excess weight loss) and a reduction in waist circumference from 46.3 to 41.6 inches.
The findings were to be presented Monday at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in Chicago.
Compared to traditional weight-loss surgery, recovery from TGVR is much quicker, the researchers said.
"This procedure is safe and allows patients to resume their normal activities almost immediately," Dr. Christopher C. Thompson, director of developmental endoscopy at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said in a meeting news release. "It offers great potential for patients in lower BMI categories or for those who are not candidates for gastric bypass."
Patients must have a BMI of 40 or more to be eligible for standard gastric bypass surgery.
SOURCE: Digestive Disease Week, news release, June 2, 2009