New weight-loss surgery POSE’s a problem
A new weight-loss surgery has been gaining much attention and, unsurprisingly, momentum as of late.
Primary Obesity Surgery, Endoluminal—POSE for short—promises permanent weight loss for those longing to shed some pounds but don’t meet the requirements for gastric bypass or lap band surgery—people who want to lose as few as 20 pounds. Another benefit being touted by some is the fact that POSE does not require any incisions; rather, a camera-equipped tube is inserted down the throat and through the esophagus. The surgeon then isolates and folds the part of the stomach that, according to the Surgical Centers of Louisiana, are “responsible for the secretion of powerful hunger hormones.” Anchor staples are used to keep the folds in place, et voila! The patient is left with a smaller stomach, which is capable of holding less food and, theoretically, cut off from those scary hunger hormones. The outpatient procedure lasts about an hour.
Easy peasy, right? Well…not exactly. This surgery is quite new and has neither long-term studies nor FDA approval to back it up. ABC News reports that the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery doesn’t support or endorse the surgery, either. The Surgical Centers of Louisiana, owners of the website POSEinfo.com, is home to Dr. Thomas E. Lavin, a POSE pioneer who, according to Glamour Magazine, has performed the surgery on 90 patients since 2009.
Let’s look at the results: according to the success stories on POSEinfo.com, a patient named Charlotte lost 19 pounds in three months. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention deems a steady weight loss of about one to two pounds a week the proper way to lose weight, meaning in three months, one who eats sensibly and exercises regularly to burn calories can lose 12-24 pounds in three months. Charlotte’s incredible weight loss is actually average. What isn’t average is living on approximately a cup of food per meal, as one patient reported in Glamour, or the exorbitant cost for the surgery, approximately $12,000.
Judith J. Wurtman, PhD the co-author of “The Serotonin Power Diet,” reminds us in her Huffington Post piece about POSE that no surgery is going to be able to address what befalls many who try to lose weight the old fashioned way and fail: emotional eating. Dr. Wurtman may be on to something. The Mayo Clinic suggests that weight loss surgery patients who regain weight—which some do—should examine medical, emotional and lifestyle factors and maintains that changing lifestyle along with weight loss surgery is vital to the surgery’s long-term success.
Lose weight naturally
Losing weight is never easy. In addition to gradual, steady weight loss, the CDC recommends a common sense, holistic plan of action for losing weight and keeping it off. Its tagline? “Healthy Weight—it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle!”
Here are their tips for getting started:
• Make a commitment.
• Take stock of where you are.
• Set realistic goals.
• Identify resources for information and support.
• Continually “check in” with yourself to monitor progress.
Self reflection, setting goals and finding community, whether in person or on the web via sites such as HellaWella.com (shameless plug!), are key components to success.