Lifewatch: Toga

Reported by Claire Hosmann  email
Posted by Heather Setzler  bio | email

(WECT) -- Similar to the surgery that fixes obesity, a new procedure is designed to give patients a feeling of fullness after a small meal.  However, this new technique delivers the treatment through the mouth, without any incisions.

Yo-yo diets are nothing new for Liliana Gomez-Guerrero.

"Ever since I hit puberty my weight was up and down," said Gomez-Guerrero.

But as a mother with young children, she can't take the issue lightly, especially with a family history of health problems.

"One of my uncles passed away two years ago from coronary artery disease. He also had diabetes, so I don't want to fall into that category."

She considered gastric bypass, but then she heard about a less invasive way to do it, an experimental procedure at Cedars Sinai called Toga.

"Well, the Toga procedure is a very exciting step forward," said Dr. Edward Phillips.  "There has been a lot of interest in continuing our journey to less invasive procedures, and one of the least invasive ways to perform surgery is to go through the mouth, a natural orifice that doesn't involve cutting or scars or incisions."

A flexible device is passed through the mouth and down to the stomach. Once in the stomach, it staples part of the stomach together to create a small pouch.

"It's like having a big room, like the stomach, and putting in a partition or a wall in the room, separating it into two rooms."

"It keeps food inside that new tubularized stomach and allows them to feel full," added Dr. Kai Nishi, a bariatric surgeon.

Unlike gastric bypass, no part of the stomach is removed and there is no rerouting of the intestinal tract. That means fewer side effects.

"Overseas the results range from 40-50 percent excess body weight loss in a six month to one year period, which is equivalent to the adjustable band."

"Little bit of discomfort in my throat but other than that, no pain in the abdominal area," said Gomez-Guerrero.

A month after the procedure and a strict diet, Lily has lost 20 pounds.

Doctors are optimistic about this technique and say subjects who reached the six-month interval have lost almost 40 percent of their excess body weight.

Additional benefits of this approach include less pain, quicker recovery and decreased complications.

For more information about Toga, click here.