Charles J. Filipi, M.D., professor of surgery at Creighton University School of Medicine, has developed an endoscopic fundoplication (?) system, dubbed Intraluminal Gastroplasty Device, that might be able to offer minimally invasive therapy options for such conditions as obesity and GERD. The device seems to be quite similar to other endoscopic fundoplication systems that we have covered before (see flashbacks below).
From the Creighton University press office:
Typically, operations for GERD or obesity are performed using incisions, which requires hospitalization and have the potential for significant complications, he said. The device, a flexible tube with a metal capsule that is 3-feet-long and less than 4/5 of an inch in diameter – avoids the need for incisions, Filipi noted.
To treat obesity, the device is introduced through the mouth and esophagus, suctioning two sides of the stomach lining into position for suturing, impaling the mucosa (stomach lining), and placing a row of stitches through the stomach’s two sides. To assist in healing, part of the inner lining of the stomach is removed, and the remaining areas are brought together by adjacent stitches to form a small stomach “pouch” that accommodates only a few bites of food. Bringing the remaining areas together for healing and scarring increases the strength of the stomach-pouch wall so it will last longer, distinguishing this procedure from other noninvasive methods that have been attempted for obesity and reflux disease.
To treat GERD – a condition in which a patient’s gastroesophageal junction does not close completely and acid or bile from the stomach enters and can damage the esophagus – the device is inserted through the mouth and esophagus until it reaches the esophageal junction, the opening at the bottom of the esophagus that connects the esophagus to the stomach. A surgeon can then use the instrument to suture the esophageal junction to make it smaller. Usually two stitches are necessary on one side of the gastroesophageal junction.
The device is being developed into a product by SafeStitch Medical through a licensing agreement with Creighton University.
Press release: Creighton Researcher Reports on Noninvasive Device for GERD, Obesity…
Device info page at SafeStitch Medical: Intraluminal Gastroplasty Device – GERD …
Flashbacks: SRS System: Endoscopic Partial Anterior Fundoplication ; EsophyX™ (Endoluminal Fundoplication™) ELF System for GERD