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Syosset Weight-Loss Trial A First

A Syosset surgeon has become the first in the United States to present findings from a clinical trial on a combined bariatric approach to enhance weight loss that involves implanting a Lap Band and performing surgery on the stomach.

Plication, or surgery to fold the outer curve of the stomach into a pleat, is new in its application to bariatric surgeries. For decades, the procedure was used to treat perforated ulcers or stomach trauma.

“This is an evolving bariatric surgery that attempts to avoid the issues and complications that can sometimes be associated with stapling or other bariatric surgeries that alter a person’s anatomy,” Dr. Alan Geiss, director of the Center for Bariatric Surgical Specialties at Syosset Hospital, said.

The clinical trial, which began in November of 2011, analyzed the results of 167 patients’ surgical procedures. Patients’ weight on average went from 284 pounds to 225 pounds within a year and their body mass index (BMI) dropped from 45 to 36, according to Geiss. By comparison, a group that only had the Lap Band implanted went from 283 pounds to 243 pounds and their BMI was lowered from 46 to 39.5.

The folding of the stomach is safer, according to Geiss, and avoids complications stemming from leaks or cuts.

“We are elated to be offering this kind of procedure that has less potential complications and is providing great results for our patients.”

The results of this clinical trial were presented at the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery’s Obesity Week conference in Atlanta on Nov. 14.

The clinical trial is still underway as an ongoing observational study approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Anyone who seeks a Lap Band consultation at the Center for Bariatric Surgical Specialties is told about the study and offered the option to participate.

To be a candidate for Lap Band surgery, a person needs to have a BMI of 40 or higher or a BMI of between 35 and 39 with a significant complication from being overweight such as diabetes or hypertension. People also have to have failed previous medical and other attempts at weight loss.

In addition to Dr. Geiss, Syosset Hospital’s Dr. Colin Powers, chief of general surgery; June Warman, post-operating room nurse; Miriam Myerson Borsch, physician assistant in the surgery department; Dr. Heather McMullen, surgical physician; and Donna McPartland, RN-CBN, clinical coordinator of the bariatric services program contributed to the clinical trial.