The StomaphyX procedure (pronounced “stoh-mah-fix”) created by EndoGastric Solutions, is an incisionless procedure used to help patients lose weight by shrinking the size of the stomach.
We strongly recommend avoiding this procedure until additional research has confirmed its effectiveness and safety.
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- The StomaphyX device is inserted through your mouth
- The device is used to create folds in your stomach
While under general anesthesia, the StomaphyX device is inserted through the patient’s mouth, down the esophagus and into the stomach.
Once the device has reached the stomach, the surgeon uses it to create permanent folds (called “plications”) by repeatedly suctioning and fastening parts of the stomach wall using H-shaped durable fasteners. The folds make the area within the stomach smaller, thus reducing the amount of food the patient can eat.
Depending on the technique used, the folds can also serve to slow the draining of food into the lower part of the stomach, prolonging feelings of fullness to further facilitate weight loss.
The entire procedure typically takes around 30 minutes to perform, and it is fully reversible by using a similar technique.
While many patients report a successful outcome after the first procedure, others not experiencing enough weight loss may need to go back in for a second surgery to add additional folds.
- The technique and device are mostly used for gastric bypass revisions
The current primary use of the device and procedure is for gastric bypass revision surgery.
Over time, the stomach pouch and stoma (opening from the stomach to the small intestine) of some gastric bypass patients stretch, causing the patient to eat more and regain weight. The procedure attempts to reverse the weight regain using the technique described above.
- There is still only limited research available
- The early research and results are mixed
One study of 39 patients showed promising results. After one year, the patients lost about 20% of their excess weight, and some improved their chronic diarrhea and GERD. There were no major complications among the patients, and minor complications included a temporary sore throat and abdominal pain.
However, another study planned to evaluate 120 StomaphyX patients but was stopped because “preliminary results indicated failure to achieve the primary efficacy end point in at least 50%” of patients. In other words, results were so bad that the researches stopped the study early.
- The risks are expected to be lower than more invasive procedures
- There are possible minor complications
- There is a very low rate of major complications
Since the procedure does not require incisions outside or inside the body, the risks are expected to be much lower than more invasive surgeries, although bleeding, perforation and the standard risks that go along with general anesthesia are present.
In the study referenced above, no major complications were reported. Minor complications included a sore throat and abdominal pain each lasting a few days or less.
- You will go home the same day (no overnight stay in the hospital)
- You will be able to go back to work in just a few days
Patients undergoing StomaphyX surgery typically go home the same or following day. Many report a sore throat and abdomen up to a few days following surgery that can be mediated with pain relievers.
While your surgeon will probably allow you to go back to work within a few days, you will need to take it easy for a couple of weeks following surgery with both your diet and exercise.
Your bariatric diet during that time will go back to what it was immediately following gastric bypass surgery to give the perforations made by the fasteners and the irritation caused by the procedure time to heal.
- The procedure costs $8,000 – $13,000
- It is not covered by medical insurance yet
- There are financing options available (example: take out a medical loan)
The surgery will cost anywhere from $8,000 to $13,000 depending on your surgeon and region of the country.
Insurance will typically not cover this procedure due to the limited studies documenting its results. However, several effective bariatric surgery financing options exist to help pay for some or all of the surgery.
As mentioned above, we strongly recommend avoiding this procedure until additional research is published that confirms its effectiveness and safety.
- You can ask a local bariatric practice for a free insurance check or cost quote
- You can attend a free in-person seminar or an online webinar offered by a local weight loss surgeon
- You should schedule a phone or in-person consultation (both often free), if you are interested in learning more about weight loss surgery