Tuesday, June 07, 2016

BEAT hunger with safe, "nonsurgical" weight loss treatment

As with a previous post on using the same kind of treatment on uterine fibroids, I wouldn't call this "nonsurgical". Minimally invasive is more accurate.

Public Release: 3-Apr-2016
BEAT hunger with safe, nonsurgical weight loss treatment
Potential new intervention emerges as less invasive for morbidly obese individuals
Society of Interventional Radiology

A safe, new, minimally invasive treatment, developed by interventional radiologists, led to sustained weight loss in severely obese people, according to research presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting. Researchers said the treatment--bariatric arterial embolization (BAE)--could offer individuals a viable, safe alternative to surgical weight-loss treatments.

Researchers designed the Bariatric Embolization of Arteries for the Treatment of Obesity (BEAT Obesity) pilot clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of bariatric arterial embolization, or BAE, as a minimally invasive, image-guided treatment option for obese people struggling with weight loss.

"These early results demonstrate that BAE appears to be effective in helping patients lose a significant amount of weight in the short and intermediate term," said Clifford Weiss, M.D., FSIR, associate professor of radiology and radiological science and director of interventional radiology research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Compared to a surgical gastric bypass procedure, BAE is significantly less invasive and has a much shorter recovery time."

BAE targets a specific portion of the stomach (the fundus), which produces the vast majority of the body's most powerful hunger hormone, called ghrelin. BAE is performed exclusively by interventional radiologists, who use image guidance and catheters to access the specific blood vessels to this portion of the stomach through a small nick in the skin at either the groin or wrist. The physician then injects microscopic beads to decrease blood flow to that portion of the stomach, thereby suppressing some of the body's hunger signals, leading to reduced appetite and weight loss.


In these first seven patients, bariatric embolization was safe, with no major adverse events. All patients demonstrated weight loss and dramatic hunger reduction levels after the procedure. Ghrelin levels trended down, and quality-of-life scores improved.

In the first month following BAE, participants had an average excess-weight loss (the percentage loss of the pounds above the patient's ideal body weight) of 5.9 percent. After six months, the participants' excess-weight loss increased to an average of 13.3 percent.


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