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Obesity Surgery Performed Through Vagina, U.S. First

Posted Sep 28 2008 3:06pm

On Tuesday, September 16, 2008, the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery performed the nation’s first gastrectomy, a partial removal of the stomach, through the vagina. This new “natural orifice” technique may be an attractive alternative for the 200,000 U.S. patients who undergo surgery for the treatment of obesity each year.

“More than 15 million people in the United States suffer from severe obesity,” said Santiago Horgan, M.D., director of the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery and Center for the Treatment of Obesity.  “The Center for the Future of Surgery at UC San Diego is developing and testing innovative techniques that will offer patients globally more and better treatment options.”

The sleeve gastrectomy is a weight loss surgery in which 80 percent of the stomach is removed, leaving a slender moon-shaped stomach. The procedure works by dramatically reducing the size of the stomach so that the patient feels full after eating less, takes in fewer calories, and loses weight. This is the first time the minimally invasive procedure has been performed in the U.S. through one of the body’s natural openings.

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