New Weight Loss Procedure Effective, Less Costly Than Bariatric Surgery

New Weight Loss Procedure Effective, Less Costly Than Bariatric Surgery

Obese patients can benefit from a minimally invasive technique, the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, to achieve efficient weight loss, according to data from a study titled “Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty Alters Gastric Physiology and Induces Loss of Body Weight in Obese Individuals,” published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment for obesity. But only a small number of candidates undergo this type of surgery due to limited access, the patient’s own choice, surgery-associated risks and the high cost.

Now, a team of researchers reported on the therapeutic advantages for obese patients of a new method called endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, a minimally invasive procedure that reduces the size of the stomach using an endoscopic suturing device.

Barham K. Abu Dayyeh, M.D., MPH, from the department of gastroenterology and hepatology at the Mayo Clinic and the study’s lead author, said in a press release, “Given the low use of bariatric surgery and limited effectiveness of lifestyle changes and drug treatments, a significant gap exists in our current approach to obesity. Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty offers an effective weight loss intervention at lower cost and higher patient satisfaction, potentially filling this gap in the management of obesity.”

The research team studied 25 obese patients who underwent endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota from September 2012 to March 2015. They measured changes in body weight and assessed adverse events. Other parameters, including solid and liquid gastric emptying, satiation (meal tolerance), and fasting and post-prandial levels of insulin, glucose, and gut hormones were also determined.

Researchers observed that not only had patients reduced excess body weight by 54 percent in one year, endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty also delayed stomach emptying, which translated into a sensation of fullness for a longer time and which contributed to an even more efficient weight loss. Additionally, the procedure is safe and rapid — less than two hours of procedure time — and allowing patients to go back to their normal habits in about three days. Another plus is it’s also less expensive; the cost is about one-third that of bariatric surgery.

In conclusion, the results strongly support endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty as a safe alternative procedure to bariatric surgery for obese patients.

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