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Vagotomy - Cutting stomach nerve

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Hi Everybody,

Has anyone heard anything about combining the lapband and having a vagotomy? I just read about it on obesityhelp.com

An operation once popular for the treatment of ulcers may prove to be an overlooked weight-loss solution for the newly obese. The surgery, which removes part of the vagus nerve in the esophagus, resulted in significant weight loss with few lasting side effects and same-day recovery, according to early data presented recently at a plenary session of the annual meeting of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) in San Diego.

From the Greensboro Record - July 23, 2007

So, in February, the 43-year-old Gibsonville woman began taking part in Greensboro-based research that combines two established procedures to help obese patients lose weight. Kristen Earle, the medical director for weight-loss surgery at Moses Cone Health System, is leading the research.

The research is one response to a growing epidemic of obesity in the country. Obese Americans grew from 15 percent of the population in the late 1970s to 34.9 percent in 2004. North Carolina has one of the highest incidences of obesity in the country.

White received a "lap band," an adjustable silicone band around the upper stomach that aids weight loss by reducing hunger. (Very obese patients also can undergo the more invasive gastric-bypass surgery.)

But Earle also cut two 1-centimeter pieces of White's vagus nerve, which connects the brain with the front and back of the stomach.

That surgery had been used from the 1950s to the 1970s to treat excessive stomach acid. Doctors performing the procedure noticed that patients lost appetite and weight. But once more powerful antacids were developed, the nerve cut was largely abandoned.

Researchers in Rochester, N.Y., and San Francisco are performing the nerve cut, called a vagotomy, by itself to see whether it can be used to help patients lose weight. The Rochester researchers also plan to perform the same type of research as Earle's.

Earle's research examines whether combining the nerve cut and the band produces better results. Drs. Matthew B. Martin, Benjamin Hoxworth and David Newman also are participating in the research.

White had been planning to receive the lap band, but the more she researched and read, the more she thought the dual procedure might be for her.

Earle has performed the dual procedure on more than 30 patients since May 2006.

"We have 100 percent of people not being hungry," she said.

Moreover, weight loss among those with the dual procedure is greater than with the lap band alone and about the same as with gastric-bypass surgery.

Any thoughts?


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Does anyone know if Dr. Ortiz does this procedure? Might be something to consider with the band. Just trying to see what can make the band the most effective.


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Never heard of it before. Personally I'd be hesitant about trying something that new. One of the reasons I chose the band is because it is reversible should something go awry, whereas cutting nerves is not. I'd advise you call the clinic and talk to someone there about it. We're not ignoring your question, we just aren't doctors and don't have any answers for you on this.

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