Obesity has reached epidemic levels in the United States today with over 75% of American adults considered overweight or obese.
Obesity often prevents the proper functioning of vital organs in the body including the liver, kidneys, and heart. It takes its toll on the individual’s joints, affecting their mobility, reproductive system, and fertility. Obesity can also lead to many other serious health conditions such as stroke, coronary disease, mental health issues, 13 different types of cancer, and more.
Are There Alternatives To Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery can help some patients conquer obesity and get their health back on track; however, not everyone qualifies for weight loss surgery and some individuals do not wish to undergo surgery or the extended recovery time that comes with it.
One of the reasons that bariatric surgery is effective is that it reduces the size of the patient’s stomach. You may be wondering why a patient would want a stomach reduction and there are a few reasons. First, it will force them to limit their meal portions and they won’t eat as much food in one sitting and second, they stay feeling full longer. Removing these two issues makes it easier for patients to lose weight.
We are asked by patients all the time if there are non-surgical stomach reduction procedures that would help them. Procedures that would make their stomachs smaller but without having to undergo surgery.
The answer is yes! Medical advancements have brought us endoscopic procedures that can help patients lose a significant amount of weight without surgery.
What Are Endoscopic Procedures?
An endoscopic procedure is one in which a special medical device called an endoscope is used. An endoscope is a flexible tube-like instrument that has a camera and a light mounted on the end.
The endoscope is gently lowered down the patient’s throat to the target location and the procedure is completed from the inside so there are no incisions created. The hollow endoscope allows for any other tools that are needed to complete the procedure. The surgeon is guided by the small camera’s real-time video images that are projected onto a nearby monitor.
Patients are sedated during endoscopic procedures so they are comfortable and will not feel any pain. While some discomfort may be present, endoscopic procedures are easier, come with lower risk, are generally less expensive than surgery, and put much less stress on the body.
What Non-surgical Endoscopic Procedures Are Done For Weight Loss?
Currently, there are two popular non-surgical procedures that are performed endoscopically to help patients lose weight. Both of these stomach reduction non-surgical procedures will help patients lose weight but differ in technique.
Placement Of An Intragastric Weight Loss Balloon
An Orbera intragastric balloon is a medical device that is temporarily placed into a patient’s stomach to help them to lose weight. The deflated balloon is lowered down the endoscope through the patient’s throat and then inflated with saline solution once properly placed in the stomach.
While this procedure does not physically make the stomach capacity smaller, it offers a similar result. The Orbera balloon takes up about ¾ of the stomach’s capacity and prevents the patient from eating too much during each meal. The balloon remains in the stomach for 6 months and is then removed endoscopically.
The goal is for the patient to make significant lifestyle changes that become long-term habits during these six months, including eating healthy and incorporating daily exercise. The patient is supported by a team of weight loss and other professionals during the 12-month Orbera balloon program. Many patients have lost a significant amount of weight with the Orbera weight loss balloon.
Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG)
ESG or endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is a non-surgical stomach reduction procedure that is minimally invasive and requires no incisions to promote weight loss.
Similar to the popular bariatric gastric sleeve surgery, ESG results in a physical stomach reduction but is non-surgical.
During gastric sleeve surgery, the surgeon cuts and permanently removes a portion of the patient’s stomach, using surgical staples to close the remaining edges.
During ESG, the patient’s stomach is made smaller by using a special suturing device that is lowered down the endoscope. The surgeon manipulates the stomach into a smaller tube-like pouch and secures the new shape with about 7-12 sutures. There are no incisions and no part of the stomach is removed.
A smaller stomach inhibits the individual from eating too much during one meal and they feel full much faster. The smaller stomach size also causes the stomach to empty much slower so they also stay satisfied longer.
Patients who have undergone this non-surgical stomach reduction procedure have lost tremendous amounts of weight by combining the ESG tool with their own efforts. Patients who make long-term lifestyle changes such as incorporating physical activity into their daily routine and eating a healthy low-calorie diet will experience the most significant weight loss results.
It is not uncommon for patients to lose about 60% of their excess body weight in one year after undergoing the ESG procedure. Many patients have lost much more.
Excess body weight is the difference between the patient’s current weight and a healthy weight (or what they should weigh).
For example, if a patient currently weighs 300 pounds but a healthy body weight for their height and frame is 150 pounds, then that individual has 150 pounds of excess body weight.
If this 300-pound individual were to lose 60% of their excess body weight, they would lose 90 pounds and would weigh 210.
ESG is an ideal solution for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of around 30 who do not wish to have surgery. The most important criterion for achieving your weight loss goals after this non-surgical stomach-shrinking procedure is to be committed to making the necessary lifestyle changes. The more effort put forth by the patient, the more weight loss they will experience.
Get The Help You Need To Lose Weight With A Non-Surgical Stomach Reduction
Many people have underlying factors that affect their ability to lose weight no matter what they do. These factors can be genetic, hormonal, medical, behavioral, emotional, stress or medication related, etc.
An expert who is trained in treating obesity looks at the patient from a 360-degree perspective to identify the areas that are inhibiting their weight loss. Losing weight is not easy and at Simmons MD Advanced Weight Loss Solutions, we understand this. We look at each patient individually and create a customized program that is safe and effective in promoting sustainable weight loss.
If you have tried losing weight through diet and exercise and have been unsuccessful or become frustrated, contact Simmons MD Advanced Weight Loss Solutions today. You do not have to navigate this weight loss journey by yourself. We are here to help and support you all the way.
Set up a consultation to learn more about endoscopic weight loss procedures like ESG that can help you reach your goals.