While weight loss surgery has a track record of success that dates back more than four decades, this option isn’t desired or advisable for all people. When surgery just isn’t a good fit, a new alternative is offering hope for those who need to shed pounds to improve and safeguard health. Called the sleeve gastroplasty, this procedure is similar to the most popular surgical intervention. Unlike the sleeve gastrectomy, however, gastroplasty doesn’t involve surgery.
The sleeve gastroplasty procedure was developed to essentially mimic some of the changes that are created in the body when a gastrectomy is performed. Instead of using a laparoscopic surgical procedure to physically remove a portion of the stomach and reshape the remainder, gastroplasy is performed using an endoscope and a suturing device. Rather than remove a portion of the stomach, which would involve surgery, the gastroplasty calls for cinching the organ. The end result is a smaller, banana-shaped pouch that cannot hold as much food as a normal stomach.
Gastroplasty is seen as a viable option for people who cannot physically undergo surgery, cannot afford it or simply are unwilling to take this course of action. The procedure is considered minimally invasive and isn’t associated with the side effects commonly linked to surgery. Even so, it is important for patients considering gastroplasty to understand that complications may arise. Nausea, vomiting, stomach leakage and infections may result, but are rare.
Researchers have found that gastroplasty does produce significant results. Although not likely to promote the high rate of excess weight loss experienced after the gastrectomy, gastroplasty patients may see as much as 18 percent of their body weight come off after a year.
People who are considered morbidly obese are strongly urged to speak with their healthcare providers about all weight loss options. If surgery isn’t the best choice, gastroplasty may provide the help needed to lose weight and keep it off.