Non-Surgical Weight Loss Procedures
Endoscopic non-surgical weight-loss procedures are a promising new option for people who want help losing weight but don’t want — or may not qualify for — bariatric surgery. If you are researching weight loss surgery, but want to avoid incisions, you may want to consider these non-surgical options.
Are you a candidate?
You might be a good candidate for non-surgical weight loss procedures if you:
- Have a body mass index of 30 or higher.
- Are not able to lose weight with diet and exercise alone.
- Had weight-loss surgery, but regained weight.
- Have a physical condition making you ineligible for weight-loss surgery.
- Prefer not to undergo weight-loss surgery.
Since many of these non-surgical options are relatively new compared to surgical procedures, there’s still a need for more data to understand how well they work in the long run. Also, it’s important to be aware that endoscopic procedures may not be covered by insurance.
Types of non-surgical weight loss procedures
When it comes to non-surgical weight loss and weight management, the FDA has regulated several types of devices that can help individuals on their journey. Here’s a quick overview of some of these devices:
- Gastric Band: These are bands that are surgically placed around the upper part of the stomach, reducing the available space for food. An example is the Lap-Band Adjustable Gastric Banding System.
- Gastric Balloon Systems: These devices involve inflatable balloons inserted into the stomach to take up space, which delays the process of emptying the stomach. Various options fall into this category, such as the ORBERA Intragastric Balloon System, Obalon Balloon System, TransPyloric Shuttle/TransPyloric Shuttle Delivery Device, and the Spatz3 Adjustable Balloon System.
- Endoscopic Suturing Devices for Altering Gastric Anatomy: These devices are introduced through the throat into the stomach and are used to place permanent sutures (stitches) that effectively reduce the stomach’s volume. One example is the Apollo Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty and Revise Systems.
- Oral Removable Palatal Space Occupying Device: These devices are meant to be worn during meals and help limit the size of each bite. One example is the Sensor Monitored Alimentary Restriction Therapy (SMART) Device.
- Ingested, Transient, Space Occupying Device: This category includes ingested materials that temporarily occupy space in the stomach. An example is Plenity.
These devices offer a range of options for individuals seeking assistance in weight loss and weight management. Set up a consultation with an experienced bariatric surgeon to determine which device, if any, is right for your specific needs and goals.
Some of the risks of incision-free weight loss procedures include throat pain during recovery. Other risks are related to the specific technique used. Some possible risks and side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Acid reflux
- Leakage, may also cause an increase in gas, belching, or bloating.
In general, non-surgical weight loss procedures are seen as safer than more invasive types of bariatric surgery. However, it’s recommended that patients discuss all the possible risks and complications with their surgeon before having surgery.
What is the cost?
Non-surgical weight loss procedures are still considered new compared to more traditional methods and are not widely offered to patients. As a result, the average cost for many of these procedures vary widely from $6,000 to $12,000.
Insurance companies may or may not cover these newer methods.
For more information about non-surgical weight loss procedures, visit the FDA website.
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