Lose Weight Without Making a Cut

Incision-free procedure reduces weight gain some patients experience after gastric bypass surgery

Gastric bypass fails to produce long-term weight loss for up to half of the people who had the surgery -- now, though, a new procedure offers them hope.

Gastric bypass surgery became a familiar weight-loss procedure after celebrities like The Today Show's Al Roker, comedienne Roseanne Barr and a string of other famous people publicized their experiences. Singer Carnie Wilson underwent the surgery at Alvarado Hospital.

As time will tell, it's not the answer to permanent weight loss. Up to 50 percent of patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery begin to regain weight after two years, according to specialists at UC San Diego's Center for the Treatment of Obesity

Now, though, there is a new procedure called ROSE (Restorative Obesity Surgery, Endolumenal) that is being offered at UC San Diego to help former gastric bypass patients -- and the surgery is scarless. Doctors insert instruments through the mouth to recreate the restriction the patient had after gastric bypass surgery. ROSE is an outpatient procedure that reduces both the diameter of the stomach's opening and the volume of the stomach's pouch.

Not all gastric bypass surgery patients qualify, however. 

"There are not many options to repair a failing gastric bypass," said Dr. Santiago Horgan, of UCSD's Center for the Treatment of Obesity, in a news release. "Invasive procedures to restore the anatomy are complicated and risky for most patients. In comparison, there were not significant complications associated with ROSE, and most of the patients lost clinically relevant amounts of weight."

ROSE is so new that most insurance companies do not cover the procedure, which costs between $13,000 and $16,000. 

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