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The New Weight Loss Procedure

Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty may be the answer to the obesity epidemic.

Obesity is one of the biggest health concerns facing Americans today, and bariatric surgery has been known to be the most effective treatment for many individuals. Unfortunately, a very small percentage of patients are able to receive the surgery because of numerous factors (from cost, to minimal access and the risk associated with the procedure itself). A new treatment known as the “endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty” is a less invasive, safer and more cost-effective weight loss treatment based on research published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. One of the major authors of the publication, Dr. Barham K. Abu Dayyeh was quoted stating that, “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.”

What is this new phenomenon though? Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is essentially a non-surgical procedure where an endoscope is used to help reduce the size of the stomach by creating a sleeve using sutures. The study observed 25 patients who underwent the procedure, and found that they had an overall reduction of weight by 54% after one year’s time. Patients were found to be more tolerant during the procedure itself seeing that it only takes about two hours to perform, with minimal downtime to get back to their daily lifestyle. One of the biggest selling points for this procedure is the effect it has on the patients when it comes to eating meals; patients were finding themselves feeling fuller quicker and essentially eating less than what they were typically used to. Not only does it promote weight loss, but it also helps manage obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease.

Cost is of course one of the greatest concerns to individuals who would want to partake in this, and one of the advantages of undergoing the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is its lower cost compared to other procedures. Though cost will definitely vary based on the individual’s insurance or where they have the procedure performed, overall the cost is dramatically less than the mainstay bariatric surgery. Prices typically range from around $10,000 to $15,000. This could have significant appeal for patients who are significantly overweight and need to lose weight, but do not want any serious complications that are associated with bariatric surgery.

Dr. Abu Dayyeh stresses the point that, “the key to long-term success with any bariatric procedure is evaluation and close follow-up with a multidisciplinary program that includes expertise in endocrinology, psychology, nutrition, and an exercise coach to enable the patient to adopt a healthy lifestyle that is conducive to weight maintenance.” With this said, it is important for a patient to realize that a surgery alone is not an answer to their prayers. They must make better choices when it comes to eating and exercising consistently for there to be substantial long-term results. Only when this is accomplished will a person be able to see the benefits of this procedure.

Practice Pearls:

  • Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure to help patients lose a significant amount of weight.
  • Compared to bariatric surgery, the cost of endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is much less, making it a plausible option for some patients who are obese.

 

Researched and prepared by Javeria Fayyaz, Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate LECOM  College of  Pharmacy, reviewed by Dave Joffe, BSPharm, CDE

American Gastroenterological Association. “Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty: Promising new weight loss procedure.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 January 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160120115737.htm>.

Barham K. Abu Dayyeh, Andres J. Acosta Cardenas, Michael Camilleri, Manpreet S. Mundi, Elizabeth Rajan, Mark D. Topazian, Christopher J. Gostout. Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty Alters Gastric Physiology and Induces Loss of Body Weight in Obese Individuals. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2015.