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Monday, 01 October 2007 

HOUSTON – (Oct. 1, 2007) – Bariatric surgeons at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and Park Plaza Hospital and Medical Center are offering a new procedure that helps gastric bypass patients lose unwanted pounds they have regained since their initial weight-loss surgery.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, Erik B. Wilson, M.D., and Terry K. Scarborough, M.D., both assistant professors in the Department of Surgery, successfully performed Houston’s first two StomaphyX procedures at Park Plaza Hospital and Medical Center. The physicians, who are board-certified by the American Board of Surgery, received training from EndoGastric Solutions, Inc., which developed and manufactures the StomaphyX device.

StomaphyX is a transoral procedure designed to help patients who have started to regain a portion of the weight they initially lost after bariatric surgery.

Wilson said Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is an effective surgical solution that helps morbidly obese patients shed pounds and succeed in maintaining a healthy weight. However, in five to 10 percent of patients, the small stomach pouch created during the surgery to restrict food intake may over time expand. With the increased stomach capacity, patients may gradually gain weight – sometimes as much as 40 pounds.

Phillip Sowa, CEO at Park Plaza added, “We are very excited to be able to offer this new procedure to our patients and to make the necessary equipment available to our UT physicians who are bringing this innovative procedure to the public."

StomaphyX is a non-surgical system designed to recreate the small pouch. The device is inserted through the patient’s mouth into the stomach. Large pieces of stomach tissue are pulled into the StomaphyX device using vacuum suction, and then a fastener is used to affix two pieces of tissue together. It is repeated as many as 20 times to reduce the size of the stomach pouch. There are no incisions, and it can be offered as an outpatient procedure.

“This is another tool we can use to help patients succeed in losing their excess weight and keeping it off,” Wilson said. “We believe this will benefit patients who had initial success with weight loss, but are now struggling with their appetite and weight gain.”

Darla Martin, 41, is one of the first patients to undergo the procedure in Houston. She has struggled with obesity most of her life and sought a surgical solution to help her lose the excess weight and improve her health.

Martin said her initial weight-loss surgery in 1988 was unsuccessful, and she sought Scarborough’s expertise two years ago to correct it. He performed a revision, and for the first year, her gastric bypass was effective in helping her lose more than 130 pounds. Slowly, though, some of the weight returned.

“It’s frustrating because I was only about halfway to my goal,” Martin said. “I still have over 140 pounds to lose, and this new procedure has opened up the door for me to do that. I’m ready to get back to losing the weight and getting healthier.”

Patients can expect to go home either the same day of the procedure or after an overnight stay at the hospital. They can immediately return to normal activities but must remain on a liquid diet for the first week and then gradually progress to solid foods.

Wilson said patients can expect to lose between 10 and 15 pounds in the first month after the procedure. “The early results are favorable, and we expect that patients will start to see results within just a few weeks.”

With a smaller pouch, patients will eat less and should be able to achieve long-term weight loss, Wilson said.

For information or to schedule an appointment, call 713-493-7700. To speak to the bariatric coordinator at Park Plaza Hospital & Medical Center, call 713-527-5027.

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