Obesity surgery could become a less invasive procedure within a matter of years, with doctors predicting the surgery could one day be performed via a tube inserted through the mouth.
The surgery can be life-changing for patients who have previously attempted, and failed, to lose weight through exercise and diet regimes.
At present, an incision is made so that surgeons can staple the stomach, thereby limiting the amount of food that can be consumed at any one time and significantly reducing calorie intake.
Around one million obesity surgeries have been carried out across the world since the procedure was developed and Dr Philip Schauer, head of bariatric surgery at the Cleveland Clinic and president of the American Society of Bariatric Surgery, is confident that future advances will reduce the risk and cost of surgery.
"I believe we are perhaps on the verge of another revolution," Dr Schauer told ZeeNews.com, indicating that the surgery could soon move from being something of a last-resort treatment to a preventative procedure.
"Gaining access to the organ you want to work on is half the trauma," he said. "If there's less risk, maybe we could do (bariatric surgery) on patients with a lower BMI [body mass index], maybe under 35, as a preventive operation."
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