Frequently Asked Questions

Procedures (Gastric Balloon)
Procedures (Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty)
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.

Complete a form on any page and one of our representatives will give you a call to schedule your appointment.

Or give is a call at 888-755-4881

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.
Studies have revealed that as little as 5-10% total body weight loss (TBWL) is associated with improvements in obesity related comorbidities (high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, Fatty liver), and even mortality.
How much weight loss from pharmacologic therapy?

Studies have shown that with Qsymia (Phenteramine/Topiramate) there is increased weight loss when coupled with diet and exercise when compared with placebo, diet, and exercise. At just three months the diet and exercise group lost about 5 lbs vs the 14.9 lbs in the recommended dose group and 18.9 lbs in the high dose group.

Contrave (Naltrexone/ Buproprion) has shown that at 56 weeks, over 62% of patients achieved >5% total body weight loss, with an average of 17 lbs weight loss vs 4lb in the placebo groups.

Wegovy (Semaglutide) has shown that at 68 weeks, 40%of patients will lose over 20% of their total body weight while taking the highest dose of medication. Over 80% of patients will lose >5% total body weight loss.

Mounjaro (Tirzepetide) has shown that at 28 weeks, on average patients lost 20% total body weight on the highest dose.

What Happens During The Initial Consultation?
During the initial consultation, we review the services offered by the practice, weight loss procedures, 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.
What Does The Consultation Fee Cover?
The consultation fee is non-refundable, but goes toward future procedure or membership costs.
What Happens After The Initial Telehealth Appointment?
You will receive a portal message with a recap of your visit along with the next available appointment times and dates to schedule your in-office visit to start your journey.
How much weight loss is expected from the gastric balloon?
The amount of weight loss varies from patient to patient. However, gastric balloons are a great way to jump-start weight loss. Patients can expect to lose 3-4x more than with diet and weight loss alone, corresponding to an average of 25-40 lbs, while some patients have lost up to 75 lbs even after the balloon is removed.
How does a gastric balloon work?
A gastric balloon is inserted endoscopically (through the mouth) into the stomach. The balloon is then filled with approximately 500 ml of saline. This causes a sensation of rapid satiety (fullness) and slows gastric emptying, thereby inducing weight loss. Learn more
Who is eligible for the gastric balloon?
We discuss risks, benefits, and goals during your initial consultation to determine if the gastric balloon is right for you, beyond that patients with a BMI>30 kg/m2 who has not been able to lose weight with diet and exercise alone.
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.
How much weight loss from Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty?
The amount of weight loss varies from patient to patient. However, the ESG is a great tool to help with steady weight loss over time. Patients can expect to lose 20- 30% of their total body weight over the course of 1 year. For example, for a patient with a start weight of 225 lbs, they can anticipate 45-67 lb weight loss.
What is an endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG)?

ESG (Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty) is an innovative and non-invasive endoscopic technique that reduces the volume of the stomach by 70-80% of the size of a normal stomach. The concept of this procedure sought to mimic that of a surgical gastric sleeve in creating a tubular-shaped stomach. However, with ESG, instead of removing a portion of the stomach, it is pulled inward with sutures instead.

During the procedure, an endoscopic suturing device is attached to the end of the endoscope and inserted into the stomach. Then sutures are placed in the stomach to create a smaller, tubular configuration. The ESG leads to weight loss by the reduced capacity of food intake due to smaller stomach, early satiety, and delayed motility, so food sits in the stomach longer. Just as with surgical intervention, the patient works closely with a nutrition team to create healthy dietary habits and lifestyle changes.

See Video

Who is eligible for an ESG?
We discuss risks, benefits, and goals during your initial consultation to determine if the ESG is right for you. Beyond that, patients with a BMI>30 kg/m2 who has not been able to lose weight with diet and exercise alone.
How does the procedure work?
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.
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.
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.
What are memberships?
A year long membership with follow up, nutrition education, food examples, grocery lists, dietary planning, recipes is included with the cost of each procedure. Click here for options
Does Gut Theory Total Digestive Care accept insurance?
No, we do not accept any insurance. We provide various membership plans with a monthly membership fee. Upon request, we provide completed CMS insurance forms after each visit to submit to your insurance provider for direct reimbursement.
Are bariatric procedures such as Gastric 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.
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.
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

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