For morbidly obese people, weight – loss surgery is an aggressive, but effective, answer. Since surgery may be too risky for the heaviest of these patients, experts are working on an alternative. In an endoscopic procedure that could potentially be done on at outpatient basis, doctors insert a long, flexible tube down the throat. It grabs the wall of the stomach and the staples them together, creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach, so less food is needed to create a feeling of fullness. Perforation (to the esophagus or stomach) in a small concern, but because the technique is less invasive than surgery, it’s less traumatic, making it a safer option for some people. The technique hasn’t been tested on people yet. If clinical trials go well, the next step is seeking government approval, says bariatric surgeon Roger de la Torre, co- founder of Satiety, the company that developed the procedure.

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