The StomaphyX procedure is a remarkable new technique that is used to re-tighten a gastric bypass through the mouth, without any incisions.
If a patient has undergone gastric bypass surgery and either their stomach pouch or their stoma (this is the connection between the stomach and the small intestine) has stretched, the patient has a strong tendency to re-gain weight. The StomaphyX procedure is a very low risk, straightforward, outpatient procedure that allows the surgeon to shrink the stomach from the inside, like taking darts or tucks in a waistband that is too large. The size/volume of the stomach can be reduced up to 80%, which gives the patient a small stomach that fills quickly and empties slowly. Patients have reported that it gives them a fresh tight feeling similar to having had a new gastric bypass. This allows them to reduce the amount of food they eat and the number of times they eat, without feeling overly hungry.
There are a couple of physically correctable reasons why weight re-gain occurs
1. Pouch too large
If a patient has a pouch that is too large or has stretched over time, he/she will require more food intake in a given sitting before feeling full. This increased intake leads to weight re-gain over time.
2. Stoma too large
If a patient has a stoma that has stretched over time (generally from inappropriate eating habits), the food that he/she eats will not stay in the stomach very long. It will tend to pass out of the stomach and into the small intestine rather quickly. This will result in the patient feeling hungry soon after a meal and the resultant increase in the number of meals will lead to weight re-gain.
The traditional method of repairing these problems is a very high risk revisional surgery, performed through a large incision in the abdomen. This is a long, difficult procedure and is fraught with complications, risk, and failure. Because of this, many patients just haven’t wanted to undergo a revision and they have just lived with the weight. Now that the StomaphyX is available, patients can undergo a “tightening” procedure without having to undertake the risk of a major operation.