There is a new method for accelerating weight loss that is said to work more effectively than many weight loss regimens, yet does not have some of the downsides of surgical procedures. In many countries around the world, especially in the U.S., there is a growing concern about obesity, and along with it worry over people’s average caloric daily intake and portion sizes. Some believe this is due to an overabundance of cheap and accessible fast food as well as a sedentary lifestyle in some areas.
There are nearly as many miracle diet programs, exercise regimens, or weight loss pills as there are fast food chains, but even many people who try these programs are not successful in losing weight (or eventually put weight back on). When the aforementioned methods are not useful, some turn to surgeries meant to aid weight loss, including vertical banded gastroplasty, colloquially known as “stomach stapling.” This surgery can be risky, as it involves cutting into the patient. A new procedure promises to do away with the risky and invasive need for cutting into a patient’s stomach region.
The new treatment is known as the “accordion procedure,” and Dr. Reem Sharaiha, who led a study on the proedure, calls it the “sewing machine.” The accordion procedure is intended to spur weight loss without requiring any major, invasive surgery. The accordion procedure involves inserting a series of sutures through an anesthetized patient’s mouth and into their stomach. Doctors can use these sutures to reduce the size of the stomach from its original volume. This procedure is said to take about 40 minutes, and patients need only two to three hours of recovery. This procedure is also reversible. The “sewing machine” surgery has shown positive results in patients who have undergone the procedure. Many of these individuals have gone on to lose the weight they wanted as well as maintain a more healthy lifestyle. This procedure is also designed to deal with other medical issues such as sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and cholesterol problems.
While this surgery appears promising, there are currently only a small number of facilities that can perform the procedure. Utilizing this procedure is also far less expensive than conventional vertical banded gastroplasty. It is still fairly costly, as the current cost to undergo the accordion procedure is around $10,000 to $15,000. However, as further tests and studies are done, people might eventually be able to have this procedure covered by their insurance.