The latest form of weight loss surgery that creates folds in the stomach to reduce its size and thereby reduce the patient’s appetite and ability to eat so much food has been hailed as a big step forward in the battle against obesity.

origami weight lossDoctors and medical experts hailed the latest breakthrough in surgical procedures, known as Gastric Plication to reduce the size of the stomach in overweight patients as it is the first of its kind to be fully reversible and far less risky than previous kinds. The team of researchers, lead by Santiago Horgan have made available a new, optional clinical trial at UC San Diego Health System.

Folding the stomach using non-absorbable sutures has has the effect of reducing its capacity by up to 70 percent. The procedure, which usually takes around an hour to perform, requires patients to have between one and five small incisions made in the abdomen that enable the surgeon to reach the areas of the stomach for folding.

Following surgery, patients are usually required to remain in hospital for a day or two, after which they are allowed to return home. Their appetites are greatly reduced and they are able to lose around two pounds in weight per week thanks to feeling fuller much faster when eating.

Horgan has made the comparison between origami and his procedure of gastric plication. This is because the stomach is folded into a new functional form, just as paper is folded to produce intricate shapes and artistic forms. Gastric plication is a safer form of surgery thanks to being performed laparoscopically and is potentially reversible. Horgan said,

“If, for some reason, we need to return the stomach to its original size, we can do so. Also, since the patient’s anatomy is not rerouted, the patient does not have severe food restrictions.”

In addition to losing weight, many surgery patients are seeing associated benefits that include a reduction in their blood pressure, with a lessening of diabetes and depression medications. These long-term results are produced by combining the new surgery with a regime of eating a healthy weight loss diet and exercise.

Patients are usually able to resume normal activities within a week of surgery. To be accepted for treatment, candidates for surgery need to have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 27 or higher.