POSE Surgery (Primary Obesity Surgery Endoscopic)
What Is POSE Surgery?
Standing for Primary Obesity Surgery Endolumenal, POSE surgery is a ground-breaking procedure that constricts the size of the stomach for weight loss without requiring any incisions or invasive surgery. Although the procedure is not available on the NHS, many private clinics offer POSE as a potential weight loss intervention, especially suited for those who may be less drastically overweight and therefore expect a more modest weight loss.
This non-invasive treatment is ideal for patients who have been struggling with weight loss, but are unable or unwilling to undergo invasive bariatric surgery. The procedure provides moderate weight loss results, and is ideal for patients with a BMI of 27-35 or more. If you have battled with obesity for many years and have tried nonsurgical methods of weight loss to no avail, you may be an ideal candidate for this procedure. Benefits of the procedure include the fact that is no physical surgery required, as it is carried out using an endoscope camera, and a number of slimline, flexible tools that are lowered into the stomach via the mouth. There is nothing left behind in the body (like a gastric band, for example), and the surgery can be reversed if needed. There is also a short recovery period, with patients only undergoing a short stay in hospital before being able to return home and even resume work and normal activities within just a few days.
Can I Have A POSE Procedure?
The NHS does not offer POSE procedures, so eligibility depends entirely on the private providers’ own criteria. In this private setting, whether you are eligible varies from practice to practice but most will have quite similar criteria, for example if:
- You are overweight and have been for several years.
- Your serious, non-surgical weight loss attempts have failed.
- You are willing to make significant lifestyle changes to gain maximum benefit from the procedure.
Private POSE Surgery
As the procedure is not available on the NHS, the only way in which you can undergo a POSE procedure is privately. The cost of POSE surgery varies between private providers, but is typically around £6000. It is vital that you choose a quality private practice, as the promise of cheap POSE procedures can often lead to medical mistakes or unnecessary complications.
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This endoscopic procedure is an incisionless, minimally invasive procedure through which the stomach is accessed via the mouth and the oesophagus.
The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic, and takes roughly an hour to an hour and a half to complete. The surgeon will insert a set of tools known as the Incisionless Operating Platform (IOP), along with a flexible endoscope. This will be used to let the surgeon see inside the stomach. A long, slim and flexible tube will be inserted, via which the tools for the procedure are maneuvered into the stomach. These tools will then take the stomach tissue, create folds, and suture these folds together to shrink the size of the stomach. In doing this, the surgeon limits the stomach’s capacity for food intake.
You may only be required to stay in hospital overnight, or your surgeon may suggest keeping you in longer (normally no more than a few days). As there are no incisions made, there is no need to worry about keeping incisions clean or dry, nor is there a need to worry about any scarring. You won’t feel any pain or discomfort, and the procedure is generally considered to be safer than other forms of bariatric surgery. The POSE procedure is reversible too, should this be required.
Before and After Your Procedure
In the time leading up to your POSE procedure, your doctor will recommend a healthy eating and exercise plan, in order to ensure you are in the best health possible for your procedure. You will also be advised on fasting before the actual procedure.
Your diet following POSE surgery will be explained to you by your medical team, but it is likely to proceed as follows:
- For the first two days following surgery you will only be allowed to take in liquids.
- After the next few weeks you will be allowed to gradually return to a normal, healthy diet.
Once you have undergone a POSE procedure you will be required to stick to a low-fat, low-calories, small-portion diet to aid in getting the best outcome possible.
Risks and Complications
As with any procedure, POSE surgery comes with a number of potential complications or side effects, including:
- Temporary sore throat.
- Temporary nausea.
- Minor bleeding.
Alternatives To POSE Surgery
There are numerous weight loss options available today other than a POSE procedure. In addition to natural weight loss through healthy eating and exercise, or more alternative methods such as hypnotherapy, there are also other surgical procedures (if you are eligible), including:
- Gastric band surgery.
When patients undergo a gastric band operation, a silicon band is inserted into the stomach to reduce it’s capacity and assist with weight loss. This procedure is ideal for individuals who have endured long-term struggles with obesity, and have been unable to lose weight using non-surgical methods such as diet and exercise. The gastric band aids weight loss, as the stomach is fitted with an adjustable band that creates a small pouch in the upper part of the stomach. Only this part of the stomach can now hold food, which means you feel fuller sooner, and eat less. Patients with a gastric band can lose between half and two thirds of their excess weight in the 24 months following the surgery.
- Gastric bypass surgery.
During a gastric bypass procedure, a surgeon will shorten the intestines and reduce the size of the stomach. Also known as a Roux-en-Y gastric, this procedure is the most common of it’s type in the UK. During the surgery, the small intestine is shortened and stomach is made smaller, lessening the amount of food you can eat. Some food will also only be partially digested. This surgery is commonly used to treat morbid obesity, and is shown to be incredibly effective. Studies have shown that the average gastric bypass surgery will result in individuals losing between two-thirds and three-quarters of excess weight in the 24 months immediately following a gastric bypass operation.
- Gastric balloon insertion.
During a gastric balloon procedure, an expandable balloon is placed into the stomach orally, making this a non-surgical method of tackling weight loss. Patients with a BMI of 32 or higher could be eligible to have a gastric balloon fitted. A balloon can not only assist with long-term weight loss, but can also treat conditions related to obesity such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. The balloon is a soft and stretchy, and is lowered into the stomach through the mouth. Once in place, it will be filled with a saline solution (salt water) so that it become too large to move into the bowel and will remain in your stomach. This reduces the capacity for food and helps you feel full, so you will eat less and lose weight in time.
- Sleeve gastrectomy.
Also known as a sleeve gastrectomy, this procedure is designed to limit the capacity of the stomach, resulting in a reduction of food intake. This is invasive surgery, during which a section of your stomach is removed. A banana-shaped “sleeve” is left, which can hold substantially less food than the full stomach. In fact, this sleeve reduce the available size to contain food by as much as 75%, resulting in dramatic weight loss as you feel fuller and eat less. The procedure is recommended for those with a BMI of 50 or over, and can be used to treat obesity as well as related health issues.