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UCSD Finds a New Way to Reduce Appetite

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Aired 8/6/09

Surgeons at UCSD have created a new way to reduce the size of the stomach in obese people. Doctors believe this new surgery reduces trauma and risk of infection.

— Surgeons at UCSD have created a new way to reduce the size of the stomach in obese people. Doctors believe this new surgery reduces trauma and risk of infection.

The surgery pioneered at UCSD is similar to gastric bypass surgery because it makes the stomach smaller to reduce appetite. But this surgery requires no incisions. A plastic tube is routed down a person's throat and into the stomach. The tube has surgical tools at one end as well as a camera, so surgeons can see inside. Dr. Garth Jacobsen has performed the surgery.

"The device we use now to reduce the size of the stomach is essentially a large grasper that can grasp part of the stomach and deploy a suture that creates a permanent fold in the stomach," said Jacobsen.

And the fold makes the stomach smaller. Jacobsen said UCSD surgeons have operated on four people who have been able to lose about two pounds a week. The surgery is aimed at helping obese patients before they become morbidly obese.

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