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Thaemert to Offer New Non-Surgical Weight Loss Procedure

Oct 30, 2016 11:04AM ● By MED Magazine
By Alex Strauss

Overweight patients who aren’t heavy enough to warrant surgery but still need help to achieve significant weight loss now have a new option in the Sioux Falls area.

Surgeon Bradley Thaemert, MD, with Surgical Institute of South Dakota is one of only a handful of surgeons in the country trained to use the OverStitch suturing device from Apollo Endosurgery in endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty.

Thaemert, who has been using the device in other applications - such as closing holes in the bowel - for several years, was among a group of nine surgeons invited to train on the sleeve gastroplasty procedure in Houston in September.

The procedure works on the same principal as the sleeve gastrectomy, which achieves weight 
 loss through caloric restriction by removing up to 80 percent of the stomach. In non-surgical sleeve gastroplasty, Dr. Thaemert operates through the mouth, using the compact OverStitch device to place sutures in the stomach, sealing off about 70 percent of it.

“This procedure is meant for people with a BMI range of 30 to 40,” Dr. Thaemert told MED. “It is best for people who need to lose about 50 pounds, which is pretty challenging to do with diet and exercise. With this non-surgical procedure, we are still having good success after about two years.”

As with other weight loss procedures, patients who undergo sleeve gastroplasty also have to undergo significant changes in their diets and exercise routines.. At $14,000, the procedure is about twice as expensive as gastric balloon placement, which Dr. Thaemert also does, but can last at least four times longer. The gastric balloon comes out after six months.

The endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty procedure requires no incisions and leaves no scars and has the added advantage of being potentially reversible, should the need arise. Dr. Thaemert says the closest center offering the same procedure is Mayo Clinic in Rochester.