HealthDay News — Bariatric artery embolization may offer another way to treat severe obesity, a preliminary study suggests. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology, held from April 2 to 7 in Vancouver, Canada.

“Our hypothesis is that (embolization) causes weight loss by lowering ghrelin production,” lead author Clifford Weiss, MD, an associate professor of radiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, told HealthDay. However, he added, that’s not proven.

The study, of 7 severely obese adults, found that the minimally invasive procedure caused no serious complications. It also spurred some weight loss: Patients lost 13% of their excess weight, on average, over the next six months.

The short-term risks include bleeding and infections, and in the long run, people can develop nutritional deficiencies and potentially dangerous hernias, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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