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Novel Weight Loss Procedure Targets Stomach Lining to Suppress Hunger in Early Trial

New weight loss procedure

A groundbreaking small trial has shown promising results in weight loss by employing an innovative non-surgical procedure that "burns" part of the stomach's lining to reduce hunger. This procedure, known as endoscopic mucosal ablation, has traditionally been used for removing abnormal tissue in the digestive tract. During the procedure, patients ingest a fluid that safeguards the stomach's tissues. An endoscope is then used to target the gastric fundus—the upper part of the stomach which is a primary site for the production of ghrelin, a hormone that signals hunger.

In this trial, participants—10 women with obesity—experienced an average weight loss of 7.7% from their initial weight and reported a substantial decrease in hunger. This was evidenced by a more than 40% reduction in their fasting ghrelin levels and a 42% reduction in stomach capacity. Despite the small sample size and the preliminary nature of the findings, which have yet to undergo peer review, the results are significant as they suggest a potential new treatment pathway that differs markedly from existing obesity treatments, including bariatric surgery and incretin-based medications like semaglutide and tirzepatide.

The procedure's proponents argue that endoscopic mucosal ablation could offer a non-invasive alternative that directly affects ghrelin levels, providing a novel tool in the obesity treatment arsenal. According to Dr. Christopher McGowan, a gastroenterologist and medical director at True You Weight Loss in North Carolina, this brief outpatient procedure could significantly reduce hunger and facilitate weight loss, serving as an additional option for those who may not wish to pursue traditional drug therapies or surgery.

The researchers are planning more extensive trials to further evaluate the procedure's effectiveness over longer periods and to solidify its place in treating obesity. As Dr. McGowan states, this initial success in reducing hunger through endoscopic means is just the beginning, and the technique holds promise for future applications in weight management.

Daniel Ofodile Husband, Father, and Physician. A seeker of truth. Loves to practice medicine and help his patients be the best versions of themselves.

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