You may have heard about most of the weight loss surgery options available but there are a few new procedures that are just hitting the medical world that most people don’t know anything about. One of those new weight loss procedures is called transoral gastroplasty, which is referred to as TOGA.
So, what exactly is transoral gastroplasty and how does it differ from the other bariatric surgery procedures such as gastric bypass or gastric sleeve?
TOGA is a part of the new movement towards incisionless weight loss surgery. It utilizes natural orifices like the mouth instead of cutting through the person’s skin. The reason why more and more doctors are moving towards this procedure is because there is no incision involved which greatly lessens the chance of infection after the surgery.
Transoral gastroplasty is much like stomach stapling except that the doctor inserts the instruments through the person’s mouth instead of making the incision in the abdomen. The stomach is stapled via the inside of the body and the stomach is never exposed to the outside.
The TOGA Procedure is Still Very New
The TOGA procedure is still very new in the medical world and clinical trials are still being run on the procedure. The actual TOGA procedure was developed by Satiety, Inc., which is a medical device company. They developed flexible medical devices that could be maneuvered in through the body so that the weight loss surgery could be performed without making any cuts.
The actual weight loss procedure takes approximately two hours or so and the patient is put under general anesthesia. A flexible camera is also inserted in the mouth along with the medical equipment so that the doctor can see exactly what is happening. The stomach is then inflated with air and then a small pouch is stapled off. This dramatically decreases the size of the stomach allowing the patient to eat less and feel fuller.
Currently the TOGA procedure is still in clinical trials as Satiety Inc awaits approval from the FDA. Just like other weight loss surgery options, patients much meet several requirements such as having a BMI of 35-55, having tried exercise and diets to lose weight, been obese for at least 2 years, and be over the age of 18 but not older than 60 years old.
Advantages of Transoral Gastroplasty over Other Weight Loss Surgeries
When patients have this type of weight loss procedure done they usually are only in the hospital overnight or for 24 hours to be observed. On the other hand, patients who have gastric bypass surgery usually are in the hospital for at least 3-4 days if not longer.
The biggest advantage though, is that there are no incisions made on the patient’s body. This greatly cuts down the risk of infection after the surgery. It is not uncommon for people who have weight loss surgery to suffer some sort of infection in their incision, but with TOGA those risks are nearly gone. The medical community is trying to move away from surgeries that involve unnecessary incisions and it appears that transoral gastroplasty the new wave of the future for weight loss surgery.
As of right now, transoral gastroplasty procedures are still in clinical trials. There have been over 100 people who have had this surgery in the United States and Mexico and have been successful at weight loss. Talk to your bariatric surgeon if you are interested in participating in these trials.