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Doctors stumble upon potential bariatric surgery alternative

ABC News, November 27, 2013

The potential benefits of weight loss surgery are no secret. Nor are the implications and side effects of the procedures themselves, which involve the reduction of the stomach to a pouch the size of an egg, or inserting a constrictive band to achieve the same end. Now, Harvard researchers may be on to a promising new and less invasive way to treat obesity – by simply blocking a particular blood vessel leading into the stomach. Interestingly enough, the procedure itself is nothing new. Called transarterial embolization, it is a common treatment in which a doctor goes in through a blood vessel and injects tiny beads or coils to block this artery, usually to slow or stop problematic bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.