This very new endoscopic procedure was developed in the United States and by early 2011 had only been performed on approximately 150 patients. Spire Southampton Hospital’s Consultant General Surgeons Mr Jamie Kelly and Mr James Byrne recently travelled to Houston to train in this ground-breaking new surgery. They are the first surgeons in Europe to undertake this endoscopic procedure, which involves placing sutures in the upper part of the stomach. These have the effect of reducing the capacity of the stomach so patients should feel full after eating a smaller amount of food, which in turn, should help them to lose weight.
Potential benefits include minimal discomfort, rapid recovery and the patient needs to take little, if any, time off work. The procedure is aimed at overweight patients – up to BMI 40 initially – for whom more radical approaches, such as gastric banding, bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, may not be suitable or acceptable.
Early results from the US suggest that POSE is effective in promoting weight loss in overweight people with a body mass index of 30-40. “Initially patients will have procedures performed in the operating theatre and be kept in hospital overnight,” said
Mr Kelly. “It is anticipated that once we have gained further experience of this procedure it will be performed as a day case on the endoscopy unit.”
Mr Byrne said several patients have so far had the POSE procedure with no significant complications other than a sore throat, and their early weight loss results have been encouraging. Their long-term progress will be carefully monitored.
POSE has also been launched at Spire Bushey Hospital in North-west London. It is performed there by Mr Pratik Sufi, the lead bariatric and upper GI surgeon at Spire Bushey Hospital, who describes POSE as “currently the most exciting and innovative available solution for the treatment of obesity. “This procedure can be offered to people at an earlier stage before major diseases develop as a consequence of morbid obesity. I believe the procedure will open up possibilities of a better life for many patients.”