(WFRV) -- A new technique is giving patients a less invasive option for weight control.
The stomach's sutured and becomes tubular. It's volume's reduced by 80%, so patients can eat less and still feel full.
The operation's less invasive than gastric bypass or a gastric sleeve procedure. They involve removing a part of the stomach or re-routing the intestines.
"We've seen overall less risk with this procedure than we have with some of the other procedures that we do," said Doctor Stacy Brethauer.
While still investigational, it could be used to augment a lap-band: a removable device to aid weight-loss.
There's also a possibility gastric plication could be un-done.
"We think that it's going to be feasible to restore the anatomy so that you can convert it to another procedure if you needed to," Doctor Brethauer said.
Brethauer says gastric plication can help get rid of 50 to 55% of excess weight.
That's more than the lap band, but less than the gastric sleeve or bypass. And if your body mass index is over 50, this may not be right for you.
"So, most people who want to lose somewhere between 50 and 100 pounds are going to do quite well with this operation," Doctor Brethauer says.
Gastric plication patients are out of the hospital in one to two days.
Right now, insurance doesn't cover it, and it can cost between $15,000 and $22,000 dollars.
The procedure is only available in a handful of centers across the U.S. right now.