Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Surgeon Treating Obesity with Unique Procedure

July 6, 2006
CONTACT: Suzanna Cisneros Martinez, suzanna.martinez@ttuhsc.edu
(806) 743-2143

LUBBOCK – Americans are becoming increasingly overweight and according to the National Institutes of Health, 61 percent of adults are overweight or obese. This trend is turning many Americans to search for ways to lose weight.

E. Eldo Frezza, M.D., director of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, performs a new procedure that may help individuals who are severely overweight.

Currently there are a number of bariatric procedures to treat morbid obesity. Laparoscopic gastric banding or LGB was thought to be superior because it does not require cutting and sewing of intestinal parts. But Frezza said many patients average a smaller amount of weight loss.

“The morbidly obese patient would then have to have a second procedure called the sleeve gastrectomy which normally would serve as a first step before biliopancreatic diversion,” Frezza said. “Our LGB patients complained that, in the first six months, their weight loss was not a good as those achieved by those who had undergone gastric bypass. In order to achieve the best results of these procedures, the LGB and SG were combined into a single operation: gastric banding and stomach reduction or GBSR.”

Frezza, who is only one of three in the world who provides this procedure, accepted and invitation by the 10th World Congress of Endoscopic Surgery to present his abstract, “Combined Laparoscopic Gastric Banding and Stomach Reduction for Super Obese Patients Unlikely to Benefit from Gastric Banding or Sleeve Resection Alone” in Berlin in Sept. of this year. He said his patients have had success with weight loss.

“Patients also see fewer complications with this procedure. There is a decrease in filling of the band which means less visits for follow up. A patient has their filling 4 to 6 months later and also sees more weight loss,” Frezza said.

“This is beneficial for many of my patients who travel from across the state and New Mexico to have the procedure done. It saves them on health complications as well as expenses from traveling and missing more work.”

Frezza said the GBSR should be considered as a procedure for morbidly obese patients who are unlikely to benefit from either laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or adjustable gastric banding alone. Frezza is also leading a national and international group who are studying this procedure closely.

“Patients who have this procedure done are discharged from the hospital in one day, suffer fewer complications and lose more weight in the first 6 months,” Frezza said. “As a surgeon, with the health consequences a morbidly obese person can begin to suffer, I would like to get the patient the best procedure possible to get them on track to better overall health.”