Endoscopy for Weight Loss
Written By: Emma Squillace
Until recently, if you wanted to lose weight you could choose between a permanent, surgical procedure like the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, and a temporary, nonsurgical device like the gastric balloon. While bariatric surgeries are proven to be highly safe and effective, they are not the right choice for everyone. Some people are hesitant to make permanent changes to their anatomy, worry about the amount of recovery time that surgery can have, or want to try a less invasive option first. Others are not candidates for bariatric surgery for a variety of reasons including that their BMI is too low. For these people, the gastric balloon was another option. The balloons are well-liked because there are no incisions, they do not require deep anesthesia, and they are temporary. However, the balloons must be removed after 6 months, and many people prefer a longer-term weight loss treatment. Today we are happy to say that we have an option that lies somewhere between bariatric surgery and the gastric balloon: the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG).
Endoscopy is a type of procedure that is done without incisions. Instead, in the case of the ESG, the procedure is performed via a tube that gets placed down your throat. This tube gives us access to your stomach without any incisions. Sometimes endoscopy is used for patients who do not qualify for bariatric surgery. It is less invasive and can be used for a wider range of people in some cases.
Benefits of Endoscopy
In addition to being available to people who may not qualify for surgery, there are many benefits to using endoscopy for a bariatric procedure. These include:
- There are no incisions made during endoscopy
- Because there are no incisions, the risk of infection is smaller
- You often do not need general anesthesia when you have an endoscopic procedure. Usually a lighter level of sedation can be used to keep you comfortable. Although people often feel like they were sleeping and do not remember the procedure, they do not have the negative side effects associated with deeper anesthesia, like nausea.
- Procedures done via endoscopy generally have a shorter recovery time.
- Less time is needed. Not only is the recovery shorter with endoscopy, but the procedure itself is quicker. Patients who have an endoscopic procedure almost always go home the same day.
How we Perform an Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty
To perform this innovative procedure, we ensure you are resting comfortably and then insert a thin tube down your throat. This tube goes into your stomach, where a light and camera help our surgeon see well. The surgeon uses a stitching tool to sew folds into your stomach. By doing this, the opening of your stomach becomes smaller. The ESG is also called the Accordion Procedure because we create folds in your stomach that look somewhat like an accordion. No part of your anatomy is removed, and the procedure is reversible.
Weight Loss with an Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty
The reason this procedure helps with weight loss is that patients who have an ESG often report feeling full after small meals, and the ability to go longer between meals without feeling hungry. While this procedure is not a ‘miracle’ weight loss treatment, it is a highly effective tool. With this tool, many people are able to make the lifestyle changes that allow them to succeed at losing weight. Our patients tell us they are able to focus on smaller portions of healthy food without feeling overwhelmed by hunger or deprivation. Throughout your weight loss journey, the team at West Medical will stand by you to ensure you are fully equipped to succeed.
We are pleased to expand our range of weight loss treatments, and would be happy to talk to you about whether the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is a good choice for you. If you would like to ask any questions about this new weight loss solution, please reach out to our expert weight loss team at (855) 690-0565.