Revolutionary weight loss procedure comes to the UK

Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital announced today that it will be the first hospital in the UK to offer the incisionless TOGA®Procedure for treatment of obesity commencing in January 2011. The TOGA Procedure has been used to treat over 450 patients worldwide – its incision-free approach is very minimally invasive and offers the benefits of minimal pain and downtime, and an excellent safety profile. The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic using flexible instruments inserted through the mouth, and is designed to give patients a feeling of fullness after a smaller meal.

Weight loss surgeons Mr Abeezar Sarela and Mr Simon Dexter will be performing the procedure at the Nuffield Hospital in Leeds. “We have evaluated many of the new incisionless technologies that are emerging, and this is the most promising and most tested approach that we have seen” commented Mr Sarela. “We feel that there are many patients who are interested in pursuing a weight loss procedure, but believe that existing interventions are too extreme – the TOGA Procedure offers these patients a scar-free, less invasive alternative.” According to Mr. Sarela the most important benefit of the TOGA Procedure is safety. “All conventional surgical procedures carry some risk of complications. With endoscopic or "incisionless" procedures the risk of serious complications is very small.”

Professor David Haslam, Chairman of the National Obesity Forum said: “Bariatric surgery has been demonstrated to be amongst the most clinically effective and cost-effective procedures in any field of medicine. It is the only method of treatment which offers permanent weight loss alongside dramatic long term reduction in co-morbid illness, including the resolution or ‘cure’ of Type II Diabetes. Current laparoscopic, or keyhole techniques have improved safety and efficacy of bariatric operations, but represent only steps along the evolutionary process until better procedures emerge.

“The TOGA procedure, a minimally invasive surgery may represent the next step in this evolutionary process. It is inevitable, due to the skyrocketing levels of obesity being seen in the UK, that more and more people will turn to surgery for weight loss, having explored all other avenues. The increased demand that this will cause must be met by a health service struggling to stay afloat in dire economic times. The TOGA procedure has sufficiently robust evidence, albeit for now in only small studies, to potentially offer an answer by being sufficiently safe and affordable to be used across a large population, offering a tangible solution for obesity related illness.

“Weight loss results do not yet suggest that TOGA will immediately usurp gastric bypass or band, but show immense promise, and represent an optimistic glimpse of the future.”

The Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital is already considered a centre of excellence for weight loss surgery and now, following successful patient trials in Belgium and Italy, will be the first hospital in the UK to offer the new procedure.

General Manager Mike Flatley said “Patient care and safety is our primary concern at Nuffield Health which is why it is so important for us to be able offer the TOGA procedure to our patients. Under the guidance of Mr. Sarela, I’m confident that this is an important part of the future of weight-loss surgery at Nuffield Health.”

Eligibility for the TOGA Procedure

The procedure is suitable for overweight individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of over 40, or over 35 if they have an obesity-related condition, such as Type II Diabetes. All patients will be pre-screened by the surgeons and weight loss team to ensure that they are appropriate candidates, and after treatment must make periodic visits to the clinic to ensure they understand and can comply with post-procedure dietary changes. Check your BMI.


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