There a several different kings of weight loss surgeries. Now researchers are finding one, which uses a sleeve like contraption to reshape the stomach, can be especially helpful for people who are too heavy for traditional gastric bypass.
Jorge Avila has lost 165 pounds in the last 10 months.
"Just losing weight, exercising, feeling good," said Jorge.
He wanted to have gastric bypass surgery, but at 600 pounds his doctor thought it was too risky.
So they did a "sleeve gastrectomy" instead.
"In a sleeve gastrectomy, what we're doing is trimming down the stomach over a special calibrating tube to one third or one fourth of it's current size," said Dr. Amir Mehran, Director of Bariatric Surgery at UCLA.
It's usually done to help morbidly obese patients lose some weight before they have a gastric bypass.
But surprisingly, for dozens of patients, the less-invasive surgery was all they needed to lose more weight than expected.
"Sure enough, I eat maybe and eighth of what I used to eat at a meal and I feel full and you're satisfied and I'm satisfied," said Jorge.
A sleeve gastrectomy is still major surgery and more research is needed. But eventually it could become more common than a gastric bypass.
"If an operation can do it in a safer way and simpler way and really not burning any bridges for anything in the future, that's probably the way to go," said Dr. Mehran.
The Hospital of University of Pennsylvania currently does this procedure and Temple University Hospital is expected to begin doing it within the next six months.