Stomach Origami: A New Way to Surgically Treat Morbid Obesity

The minimally invasive procedure known as gastric plication involves folding the stomach so that its total volume is reduced significantly.

Refleckta/Shutterstock

Dr. Santiago Horgan, a pioneer in the field of surgical treatment of morbid obesity, is now exploring the use of an investigational procedure known as gastric plication to help patients lose weight. Horgan, who is the director of minimally invasive surgery at the University of California, San Diego Health System, explained in a press statement that the procedure is "a new choice for patients who are more than 30 pounds overweight." (A patient must have a BMI of at least 27 to qualify.)

The procedure involves folding the stomach so that the volume is reduced by up to 70 percent. "Patients can expect to lose up to two pounds per week following the procedure," Horgan said. Post-op patients are generally hospitalized for one to two days and are able to return to normal activities within a week.

From the announcement:

Horgan compares gastric plication, a way to fold the stomach into a new functional form, to the art of origami. Gastric plication is potentially reversible and is performed laparoscopically. During a one-hour procedure, one to five small incisions are made in the abdomen to reach the stomach to place the folds. Depending on the size of the patient's stomach, one or two folds are created with non-absorbable sutures.

After the surgery has been completed, patients have been shown to have a decrease in appetite, according to Horgan. Because "the patient's anatomy is not rerouted, the patient does not have severe food restrictions," he said.

A number of patients treated with the procedure have seen reduction of hypertension symptoms and have been able to decrease their use of blood pressure, diabetes, and depression medications. These benefits are attributed to a combination of the surgery, healthy eating, and exercise.


This post also appears on medGadget, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

medGadget is written by a group of MDs and biomedical engineers.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Health

Just In