COLUMBIA, Mo. — Surgeons at University Hospital are some of the first physicians in the country to perform an incision-free weight-loss surgery. The experimental procedure is a new less-painful, non-invasive surgery option for obesity patients. University Hospital is one of only nine hospitals in the United States participating in the clinical trial.
University Hospital surgeons Brent Miedema, M.D., and Klaus Thaler, M.D., associate professors of general surgery at the MU School of Medicine, recently completed the first TOGA (transoral gastroplasty) surgical procedure in mid-Missouri.
The procedure is done under direct endoscopic visualization. Surgeons pass a set of flexible staplers through the mouth and throat to create a restrictive pouch in the stomach. The pouch limits the amount of food that can be eaten and gives the patient a feeling of fullness after a small meal.
“Unlike traditional weight-loss procedures, there are no cuts to the patient’s abdomen,” said Miedema. “The surgery results in less pain, a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery for the patient.”
“Obesity is a serious health concern that affects one in three Americans,” said Thaler. “The TOGA procedure will give obese patients a new weight-loss option to improve their health without undergoing a major surgery.”
Investigators will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this new procedure. Two out of every three patients enrolled in the trial will receive the TOGA procedure, while one out of every three will receive a control procedure, where the patient receives anesthesia and an endoscopic evaluation of the stomach, but no pouch is created. After one year, patients will be told which procedure they received. Those patients who received the control procedure will be offered the TOGA procedure if they continue to meet the treatment criteria.
The TOGA study will investigate the technique in 275 patients at hospitals across the United States. Volunteers must be 18 to 60 years old, 100 or more pounds overweight and have been unsuccessful with non-surgical weight loss methods. For more information, call Satiety Inc. toll free at (866) 678-8399 or visit www.togaclinicalstudy.com.
Satiety Inc. was co-founded by Roger de la Torre, M.D., associate professor of general surgery at MU’s School of Medicine. The company is located in Palo Alto, Calif., and focuses on the development of less invasive devices for the treatment of obesity. De la Torre is not involved in any of the clinical trial studies.
University Hospital and Clinics, a part of the University of Missouri Health Care system, serves patients from every county in Missouri. The 307-bed hospital specializes in treating the most severe illnesses and injuries, offering the only Level I trauma center in mid-Missouri, intensive care units and highly specialized medical and surgical services.
Brent Miedema, M.D., University Hospital surgeon