Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight loss is associated with improvements in weight related medical problems?

Studies have revealed that as little as 5-10% total body weight loss (TBWL) is associated with improvements in those weight related complications, improves quality of life, and even mortality!

How are lifestyle plans instituted?

Each plan is customized based on past medical history, past diets, taste preferences, limitations, social history, along with convenience of being able to provide healthy dietary replacements, snacks, and meals directly from the practice.

How much weight loss is expected with anti-obesity  medications?

Studies have shown that with the combination medication Phentermine/Topiramate there is increased weight loss when compared with placebo, diet, and exercise alone.

How much weight loss should I expect from an intragastric balloon?

While this may vary greatly, at 1 year about half of the patients lost greater than 10% of their total body weight and over half of the patients lost greater than 7% of their total body weight. However, in clinical practice these results have been much more robust with consistent follow-up.

How much weight loss should I expect from endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty?

This varies greatly, but in clinical trial, patients lose about 16- 20 percent of their total body weight with the greatest amount lost in the early months. At five years, about 14 percent total body weight loss is maintained. We offer maintenance plans to assure your long term success.

What is the greatest predictor of success?

The greatest predictor of success is consistent follow up. Whether diet, pharmacologic, endoscopic, or surgical intervention, every study (and in clinical experience) has shown adherence and close follow-up with a multidisciplinary team to be paramount to weight maintenance.

How is a gastric balloon inserted?

The intragastric balloon is inserted via an upper endoscope into the stomach and then filled with approximately 600 ml of saline.

Who is eligible for an intragastric balloon?

We discuss risks, benefits, and goals during your initial consultation to determine if the intragastric balloon is right for you, beyond that patients with a BMI>30 kg/m2.

What is an endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG)?

Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG), is a minimally invasive, incisionless technique which is completed all via a suturing device on an endoscope. Your stomach is sutured from the inside to create a smaller, tubular stomach. See Video

Who is eligible for an ESG?

We discuss risks, benefits, and goals during your initial consultation to determine if ESG is right for you. There is no specific BMI requirement but typically patients with a BMI>30 kg/m2.

Is ESG a surgery?

ESG is not a surgery. There are no portions of the stomach removed. The procedure is completed endoscopically and is completely incisionless. Sutures are placed from the inside to create a smaller stomach. There is no overnight hospitalization. After the procedure, you are monitored, then discharged home.

What are the common side effects?  Contraindications?

Most commonly, patients experience some nausea or abdominal discomfort. These symptoms are mild, but anticipated, therefore you are pretreated in recovery and discharged home with medication to control these symptoms as well. They typically resolve in a few days.

Are bariatric procedures such as intragastric balloons or ESG covered by insurance?

No, not at this time. But we continue to submit data to insurance companies to overcome this battle and prove the benefits. In the meantime, we offer easy financing options in the office.

Does Gut Theory Total Digestive Care accept insurance?

No, we do not accept any insurance. We provide various membership plans with a membership fee. service with However, we provide completed CMS insurance forms after each visit to submit to your insurance provider for direct reimbursement.

What does the free consultation include?

During the free consultation, we review the services offered by the practice and membership options to determine if this practice is the right fit for you and your needs based on the patient data you have provided and your goals.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Click the book now button below and select the appointment type, date, and time. Once your appointment is approved, you will receive a patient intake packet to complete electronically.

When can I return to work after an endoscopic procedure?

You can return to work in 2-3 days after the procedure. This allows time for you to overcome any symptoms of nausea or discomfort.

Does Gut Theory Total Digestive Care accept Care Credit as a financing payment option?

Yes! CareCredit is a healthcare credit card designed for your health and wellness needs. It can be used to pay for out of pocket expenses that are not covered by health insurance. Click on the financing link below to apply now

What is BLISCare?

Dr. Laster and Gut Theory Total Digestive care are approved BLISCare providers. BLISCare provides coverage for any unintended complication. As a result, your cash pay price includes the benefit of medical care for the treatment of procedural complications should they occur, however, only as determined by your gastroenterologist. Other conditions apply.

Have a question you don’t see here? Drop us a line at

or call us at 1-888-755-GUT1 and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.


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