New Weight Loss Procedure Offers Alternative for Some

Addressing weight once and for all can be a big concern for people who are considered morbidly obese. If left unchecked, obesity can promote heart disease, diabetes and many other life-limiting conditions. While surgical procedures offer tremendous results and have helped thousands lose weight and keep it off, not everyone is an excellent candidate for operations like the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass. A relatively new option is providing hope for those who simply cannot or are not willing to undergo an intense procedure. Known as the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, this non-surgical alternative is considered minimally invasive and has proven itself quite useful in promoting effective weight loss without the need for a scalpel.

The endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is designed to provide similar benefits to the traditional sleeve gastrectomy procedure that is performed surgically. The endoscopic version, however, takes about 40 minutes to perform and requires no cutting. Instead, an endoscope is inserted into the body. The scope carries with it a special suturing device that is used to shrink the size of the stomach, effectively limiting its holding capacity. Since the procedure involves no cutting, recovery time tends to be rather minimal.

Although lacking in some of the benefits associated with the sleeve gastrectomy, the endoscopic procedure has held up well in clinical testing. One study involving just under 100 patients treated in this manner showed about 18 percent weight loss after a year and roughly 21 percent over two years.

Obesity is a serious concern across the United States where an estimated third of the population is considered overweight. People who are obese find themselves at much greater risk for seriously life-limiting illnesses along with a host of other potential complications. Taking steps to address weight can greatly improve overall health. If obesity is a concern, speak with a healthcare provider for case-specific advice.


Additional Surgeries Common After Gastric Banding: Study

People who have undergone gastric band procedures to help them address obesity-related concerns may find themselves at higher risk for needing additional operations, a recent study concluded. According to researchers, about one in five people who undergo a gastric band procedure end up requiring additional surgery within five years.

The gastric band was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2001. The procedure works by placing a band around the upper part of the stomach. The placement essentially decreases the size of the stomach, which means people have less room to hold food. The band’s tightness can be adjusted, which can prove to be a big benefit in some cases, such as if a patient becomes pregnant down the road.

Although gastric bands have helped thousands successfully lose weight, complications are not entirely uncommon. Bands can, for example, slip or erode within the stomach. These issues require surgical intervention to address.

The recent study that concluded the need for additional surgeries in about one out of five patients involved data related to more than 25,000 gastric band patients. The analysis showed that about 18.5 patients ended up needing at least one additional surgery to remove, move or repair their bands.

Although still available, the gastric band has fallen out of favor with many bariatric surgeons. Procedures such as the gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are more readily offered now due to their long-term success rates. Although considered permanent, both procedures have a strong track record for helping people lose weight and keep it off.

People who are considered severely obese are at especially high risk for serious health complications. Taking steps to address weight can lower risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure, among other conditions. To find out more about bariatric surgery, consult with a licensed healthcare provider for case-specific recommendations.

New Procedure Offers Weight Loss Surgery Alternative

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.


Tips for Enjoying Long-Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery isn’t a panacea. While it’s well-documented that procedures such as the gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy can help people shed large percentages of excess body fat, these operations aren’t a “cure” for obesity. In order to enjoy long-term success, patients who choose this path must be willing to commit to making major and lasting lifestyle changes.

These tips can help those who plan to undergo bariatric surgery count themselves among the 85 percent or so of patients who report lasting success:

• Prepare in advance – This doesn’t just mean following doctor’s pre-surgical advice. It also means understanding exactly what to expect, undergoing counseling and nutritional assistance in advance and generally having a strong grasp on what life will be like after surgery. Patients who are well-prepared are often better able to adjust to the dietary and lifestyle changes that are musts after weight loss surgery.

Follow nutritional advice closely – Since most weight loss procedures call for a dramatic reduction in stomach holding capacity, diet will matter after surgery. It is important to work closely with a nutritionist to ensure the diet selected is one that packs nutrition into every bite.

• Be sure to get physical – Exercise is a key component in helping weight loss surgery patients obtain and maintain a healthy weight. It is important to seek advice from a doctor on when exercise may start after surgery and what type of exercise is deemed suitable. Keep in mind that as weight comes off and fitness levels improve, more vigorous activity will likely be recommended.

• Take advantage of support – The quest to lose weight and keep it off is one that will continue for years after surgery. Be sure to take advantage of any support system available to stay on track with diet and exercise. Some surgeons even offer online support groups to help their former patients years down the road.

Weight loss surgery can produce tremendous results. People who want to make sure the weight stays off, however, need to be committed to lasting change. For more advice on how to enjoy long-term success after surgery, consult with a licensed bariatric surgeon.

Weight Loss Surgery Products Results, But Demands Commitment

Weight loss surgery can produce tremendous results for people who are obese and are seeking ways to address this concern and the potential health problems that go along with it. This option for addressing obesity does, however, demand a commitment to making major lifestyle changes, former patients and health practitioners warn.

Patients who have undergone gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy procedures, for example, report the need to embrace major lifestyle adjustments is very real. Since both procedures involve permanent alteration of the stomach and its capacity to hold food, former patients warn that there is a need to be willing to only eat small meals, to avoid certain foods and to make adjustments as the body begins to change. The payoff for adjusting to necessary changes in lifestyle habits, however, may include such things as:

•    Ability to attain and maintain target weight – When proper lifestyle changes are put into place to support continued weight loss and/or maintenance following bariatric surgery, many people are able to hit their target weight following surgery. Just how much weight will be lost may vary from patient to patient.

•    Ability to reduce obesity-related health concerns – People who already suffer from obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, joint pain, hypertension and high cholesterol often report marked improvements after surgery. In some cases, conditions such as type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea may completely reserve or demonstrate signs of remission.

•    Ability to reduce risks for life-limiting conditions – People who are obese who take steps to address weight are likely to find their personal risks for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers go down as the weight is shed.

•    Ability to enjoy life more – While bariatric surgery does demand a lasting commitment on the part of patients, many who have undergone such procedure report feeling better, looking better and having more energy and endurance to enjoy life.

Weight loss surgery can produce big benefits for patients, but commitment is required. Anyone interested in exploring this option for weight loss is urged to consult with a licensed healthcare provider.

Gastric Bypass: Is It Safe and Effective for Younger Patients

It’s a simple fact that obesity isn’t just a concern for the aging population. It is estimated, in fact, that about a third of all American teenagers are obese. For those who find themselves classified as severely obese, the potential health ramifications are many. Obese teens face a higher risk for developing a long list of medical conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and some forms of cancer. Addressing obesity while a child is younger is generally recommended, but diet and exercise alone may not be enough.

The reality that diet and exercise may not adequately address a teen’s needs to lose weight has many parents wondering about the benefits surgery may present. Research has shown that gastric bypass procedures can provide teens who are severely obese with the long-term help they need to shed pounds and keep them off. Studies are also showing that this procedure, although rather invasive, is safe to consider when a teen’s health is in jeopardy due to weight.

A recent study added to the body of growing evidence supporting the use of gastric bypass procedures on adolescents who are seriously obese. The study in question followed a group of young patients over the course of several years and ultimately found positive results in regard to weight loss and ability to maintain the loss over the long run. The safety of the procedure was also found to be quite satisfactory.

Teens and parents of teens who are considered seriously obese are urged to explore all safe weight loss options. Losing weight sooner rather than later can help teenagers avoid a lifetime of complications, such as diabetes and heart disease. To find out more about bariatric surgery interventions and their appropriateness in a teen’s case, it is best to speak directly with a qualified surgeon.

Can Bariatric Surgery Address Binge-Eating Concerns?

People who suffer from eating disorders that cause them to put on dramatic amounts of weight may turn to bariatric surgery as a solution. While weight loss surgery can address one facet of a patient’s concerns, many experts agree that more needs to be done to adequately confront eating disorders that may have contributed to obesity in the first place. For example, bariatric surgery by its design may help people resist the urge to binge eat since a smaller stomach capacity may make doing so painful. Surgery, however, will not and cannot on its own address the underlying psychological issues that promote binge-eating behavior.

Since binge-eating and obesity may go hand-in-hand, some weight-loss experts recommend patients with both concerns take a multi-pronged approach. One prong may very well involve the use of bariatric surgery to help patients shed pounds and slim down to a healthier, safer weight. The other, however, must focus on the support necessary to assist patients in confronting the binge-eating behavior, its triggers and methods for overcoming the urge to overeat.

Bariatric surgery on its own can help patients address weight-loss concerns, but it is not a cure all for underlying conditions that promoted weight gain in the first place. With that in mind, it is not entirely out of the question for bariatric surgeons to insist that their patients undergo counseling before surgery. In some cases, practices may have in-house counseling to assist patients in laying the groundwork for long-term success. Post-surgical support groups, counseling and other forms of help may also be available and strongly advised.

Bariatric surgery can help people who are obese lose weight effectively, but it is not a cure for underlying problems. If an eating disorder is at the root of weight-related concerns, it is strongly recommended that patients take a multi-faceted approach. To find out more about eating disorders and weight loss surgery, speak to a qualified healthcare provider.

Gastric Bypass Provides Sustainable Weight Loss: Study

People who are obese and are looking for medical interventions to help them address weight-related concerns will find many options are now available to them. Aside from standard diet and exercise, doctors can now help with medications, nonsurgical procedures and different bariatric surgery techniques. When it comes to sustainable weight loss assistance, however, studies are finding the gastric bypass may offer the biggest benefits.

The gastric bypass is one of the most commonly used bariatric procedures. This surgery enables patients to lose weight and keep it off by taking a two-pronged approach. Much like a sleeve gastrectomy, the first prong involves shrinking the stomach’s holding capacity. This enables people to feel fuller faster, promoting a reduction in food consumption. The second prong involves rerouting a portion of the digestive track to promote reduced calorie absorption. Research has long shown this procedure can have tremendous and lasting benefits to assist with weight loss.

A new study backs up the findings even more over the long-term as opposed to other surgical interventions. To better understand the long-term benefits of weight loss surgery, a multi-part study was conducted. Thousands of patients were included in the study. Some underwent gastric bypasses, others had banding procedures and some had sleeve gastrectomy procedures performed. The researchers ultimately found that gastric bypass patients were able to maintain their weight loss more readily over the course four years than people who underwent different procedures.

Obesity can have ramification that go well beyond appearance. People who are severely overweight are at risk for such health problems as diabetes and heart attacks. Losing weight can dramatically lower the risks for developing life-limiting conditions. To find out more about weight loss options, both surgical and non-surgical, speak with a licensed healthcare provider. Losing weight can dramatically improve health and may even help treat and/or reverse some related medical concerns, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Gastric Balloon Versus Bariatric Surgery

People who are ready to address obesity medically will find a number of options are now available. While some procedures call for surgical intervention, others do not. Doctors are finding, however, that many patients still prefer surgical intervention over less-invasive alternatives like the gastric balloon despite the unique benefits it can provide.

The gastric balloon procedure involves the insertion of a tiny balloon into the stomach using an endoscope. Once in place, the balloon is filled up with a saline solution to enable it to occupy much of the stomach’s space. This, in turn, promotes a sense of feeling fuller faster, much like a sleeve gastrectomy or bypass might. The difference is the balloon is temporary and only remains in place for about six months. That reason is precisely why some patients and their doctors still prefer surgical intervention, especially if obesity levels are severe or co-morbidities have presented.

While the balloon procedure does provide a viable, non-surgical way to jump start weight loss, patients will find the support it provides is fleeting. That means they have roughly six months to alter lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise routines to gain the maximum benefits.

Patients who undergo surgical procedures generally attain lifelong weight loss assistance. These procedures, however, are considered very invasive and demand an ongoing commitment on the part of the patient to produce maximum results. Patients must learn to eat much smaller, healthier meals to maintain weight loss, comfort and nutritional health. They must also be willing to exercise and take part in other activities designed to support their weight loss journeys.

Surgical and nonsurgical weight loss procedures can and do provide ways to help people address obesity-related concerns. To find out more, it is best to consult directly with a healthcare provider. The best procedure to pursue will hinge on specifics unique to an individual. For some people, the less-invasive balloon can be the perfect fit. Surgical intervention though is often best in cases where health is in imminent jeopardy.

New Weight Loss Options Provide Alternatives to Surgery

People who struggle with their weight may not always find that bariatric surgery is the right option for them. Whether they don’t meet the body mass index requirements for procedures like the gastric bypass or it’s a case of wanting to avoid surgery all together, help is still available. Three relatively new procedures are providing viable alternatives to surgery for those who are obese but don’t fit the criteria for more intense medical interventions. The endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, gastric balloon and Aspire procedures are all providing hope and help for those who find surgery isn’t a good fit.

Here is a rundown of the three procedures and the ways in which they help people shed pounds effectively and without surgery:

• Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty – This technique is meant to mimic the sleeve gastrectomy without the need for surgery. It uses an endoscopic suturing device to effectively shrink the size of the stomach. This procedure is available to those who don’t meet the BMI requirements for outright surgery. It works by enabling people to feel fuller faster, much like the surgical gastrectomy.
• Gastric balloon – Also available for people with lower BMIs, this is a temporary measure meant to help kick start weight loss. It involves the placement of a balloon into the stomach to effectively shrink its food holding capacity. The balloon is inserted during a non-surgical procedure and remains in place for about six months.
• Aspire/Assist – This recently approved procedure enables people to lower the amount of calories their bodies absorb. It works by enabling patients to remove about 30 percent of the food from their stomach before it moves into the intestines. Like the balloon procedure, it is not permanent.

People who are concerned about their weight, but are not quite ready for surgery will find that options do exist for them. These three non-surgical alternatives may provide the help needed. To find out more, speak with a qualified bariatric surgeon.