Gastric Fundal Mucosal Ablation (GFMA)

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What Is GFMA & How It Works

GFMA is a novel, groundbreaking procedure developed by the medical team at True You Weight Loss, led by Dr. Christopher McGowan. After a rigorous clinical trial, our team can finally offer this incredible non-invasive, non-surgical technique to our patients.

The procedure involves endoscopic gastric mucosal ablation, or application of thermal energy (heat) to the inner lining of the top part of the stomach called the gastric fundus. It is performed by a gastroenterologist using an endoscope, a small tube with a camera, and a light.

During the procedure, your doctor starts by inserting fluid to protect the stomach tissues and then uses a tiny ablation device to treat the mucosal (surface) layer of the stomach lining. Gastric mucosal ablation leads to changes in the stomach tissue, including a direct reduction in the hunger hormone, ghrelin.

The fundus is responsible for 80-90% of ghrelin production in the body. Ghrelin is a very powerful hormone. It’s what makes us feel hungry before meals, and what leads us to eventually crave more food as we diet. Ghrelin is designed for survival, but can resist our efforts to lose weight.

GFMA eliminates the ghrelin-producing cells, preventing them from triggering the release of this appetite-stimulating hormone. The result: you’ll have less hunger, reduced cravings, and greater control over your eating.

The Benefits of Choosing Gastric Fundal Mucosal Ablation

Our team has seen the remarkable impact of GFMA for our patients, with results confirmed by our rigorous clinical trials. Some of the many benefits of GFMA as a non-surgical weight loss procedure include:

  • Minimal risks and side effects when compared to surgical options.
  • A 40-50% decrease in ghrelin production following the procedure.
  • Decreased hunger, appetite, and cravings.
  • A 45% reduction in stomach capacity, due to fundus contraction and remodeling.
  • Increased confidence to resist overeating.
  • Average weight loss of 10-15% of body weight within 6-12 months.

Gastric mucosal ablation is a procedure commonly used to treat other conditions, such as abnormal growths or lesions in the esophagus or stomach. While using GFMA for weight loss has yet to be widely practiced, our team pioneered this procedure to offer even more options to our patients. The rigorous innovative research by the True You team indicates that it can be an effective option for those not interested in traditional weight loss surgery.

Comparing GFMA and Surgical Weight Loss Options

The GFMA procedure is less invasive than other weight loss procedures and has faster recovery times, minimal complications, and fewer side effects. Recovery time for other procedures, such as gastric bypass or sleeve, can be two to four weeks, whereas GFMA only requires one to three days.

Complications are also typically minimal with GFMA since it is not a surgical procedure. In fact, patients in our clinical trials had zero complications. That’s in stark contrast to other surgical weight loss interventions, which have a history of complications such as infections, blood clots, breathing issues, or stomach leakage.

Since GFMA is not as drastic as other surgical weight loss options, the expected weight loss is less significant. Patients tend to lose an average of 10-15% of excess body weight within one year, which is similar to the expected weight loss with the gastric balloon procedure or weight loss medications. The GFMA is similar in pricing to the gastric balloon and potentially much cheaper than using weight loss medications long-term. Importantly, the changes that occur with GFMA are expected to be durable – meaning that the impact should last for many years.

Disclaimer: The GFMA procedure is performed using the ERBE VIO3 and APC3 devices, which are FDA 510(k) cleared for coagulation and ablation of tissue. However, the use of these devices for the treatment of weight is currently investigational.

Why Choose True You for GFMA?

Endoscopic Expertise
True You Weight Loss, founded by Dr. Christopher McGowan, is the nation’s first and only dedicated endobariatric weight loss center. Our team is triple board certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and obesity medicine and is recognized as the leading endoscopic bariatric practice in the nation. Our team conducted the first rigorous human study on the effectiveness of GFMA, pioneering this innovative approach.
Lifelong Follow-up
Our medical and patient care team is here to support you every step of the way, including before, during, and after your weight loss procedure. You will have a full team of experts, including physicians, nurses, and dietitians at your disposal to help you achieve and maintain your weight loss goals. We are here to guide you in your journey for as long as you need.
24/7 Physician Access
At True You, we know you need support and guidance when questions come up before or after your procedure. We value providing the highest level of concierge care with 24/7 direct access to your physician via personal cell phone, text, email, or video chat.

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Frequently Asked Questions About GFMA

How does GFMA differ from traditional weight loss surgeries?

GFMA is different from other weight loss surgeries because it is minimally invasive and may be ideal for patients who are fearful of surgical complications. 

Since the procedure does not involve invasive surgery, there are fewer complications and quicker recovery time. Typically, the expected weight loss is less significant than that of other weight loss procedures but comparable to gastric balloon or weight loss medications. Most patients can expect to lose an average of 20 pounds, or more, within 6 months. 

At True You Weight Loss, we offer many different types of procedures to meet the varying goals and preferences of our patients.

How can one get started with GFMA at True You Weight Loss?

If you are interested in learning more about GFMA and the other options we offer at True You Weight Loss, start by scheduling a free virtual consultation to speak with a member of our team.

Who is an ideal candidate for GFMA?

GFMA is ideal for those who are not interested in or don’t prefer surgical interventions or those who aren’t eligible for or cannot tolerate GLP-1 medications but still desire safe and effective weight loss.

What is mucosal ablation?

A mucosal ablation is a procedure that involves burning or removing a small area of the body, typically within the gastrointestinal tract to remove growths or polyps. A gastric mucosal ablation is a non-surgical procedure that burns the gastric fundus, the top part of the stomach.

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