15 May, 2024

Comparing Surgical Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Balloons vs ESG

You are probably aware that the nation is facing serious challenges related to obesity. In fact, it now extends beyond our borders and is a worldwide issue that meets the criteria to be considered a pandemic. Almost 75% of American adults are classified as overweight or obese, leaving only one-quarter of the adults in the country considered to be within a healthy weight range.

One of the biggest challenges for individuals who suffer from obesity is that they often have serious metabolic conditions that are related to their weight, and they are at higher risk for other serious medical issues.

If you are suffering from obesity, you may have considered getting some type of medical assistance to help you lose weight. Today, we are going to talk about how much weight you can lose with non-surgical procedures and weight loss surgeries.

Why Should An Individual Get Medical Help For Obesity?

Research has shown us that individuals who are obese have a very low chance of losing enough weight to reach a healthy BMI on their own without some type of medical assistance.

There are many things that can influence an individual’s ability to lower their BMI, including genetics, health issues, medication, hormonal issues, lifestyle choices, natural metabolic adaptations made by their body, and more. Working with a qualified doctor who is an obesity expert can offer these individuals different types of weight loss tools to help overcome some of these challenges.

A bariatric surgeon can help by performing a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery; however, out of the many individuals who qualify for surgery, only around 2% of them actually follow through with it.

Fortunately, there are two very safe and effective procedures that can provide significant help to these individuals who do not require surgery. When used in tandem with healthy lifestyle choices, a gastric balloon and endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty result in substantial weight loss.

How Do Surgical Weight Loss Options Differ From A Gastric Balloon Or ESG?

Surgical Procedures

Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery both make permanent changes to the patient’s digestive system that either cannot be reversed or would require additional, complicated surgery. During gastric sleeve surgery, about 75% of the patient’s stomach is cut away and disposed of. The surgeon then medically staples the remaining edges together, leaving a stomach with a much smaller capacity. This limits the amount of food the individual can eat and keeps them feeling full for a longer time.During gastric bypass surgery, the patient’s stomach is made much smaller and reshaped into a small pouch-like shape. The surgeon then reroutes part of their intestine so the food they ingest does not travel the entire length of the digestive tract. This keeps the body from absorbing all the calories and nutrients from this food before it is eliminated as waste. Patients can only eat small amounts of food because of their smaller stomach size, they get full faster and stay satisfied for a longer time and less absorption by bypassing a portion of the digestive tract.

Both of these surgical procedures require a fairly hefty qualification process and require abominable incisions to complete. They carry all the risks associated with surgery and the use of general anesthesia and require a recovery time of around at least 6 weeks if done laparoscopically. Open surgeries could extend the recovery time to up to twelve weeks.

Endoscopic Procedures (ESG and Gastric Balloon)

Endoscopic procedures do not require any incisions to be performed and they are not considered surgery. A special medical device (an endoscope) is used to gain access to the individual’s stomach through the throat and esophagus. The endoscope is a hollow, flexible hose-like instrument that is outfitted with a camera and a light that assists the doctor during the procedure by feeding live video to a nearby monitor, allowing the doctor to complete the procedure with the utmost precision. The doctor is also able to use the hollow center of the endoscope to introduce other special medical instruments needed to complete the procedure.

Gastric Balloon
During a gastric balloon procedure, the patient is lightly sedated, and the endoscope is placed down the throat and into the stomach. A deflated medical balloon is lowered down, placed into the stomach, and filled with a saline solution until it is about 5” in diameter. The endoscope is removed, and after a short observation period, the patient is discharged into the care of a friend or family member to go home and rest. The entire procedure usually takes about 15-30 minutes.The balloon takes up a good portion of the stomach, which helps the patient feel full and limits the amount of food they can eat in one sitting. Most patients are recovered and can resume their normal activity after just a few days. The balloon remains in the stomach for six months and is then removed; however, patients follow a doctor-supervised plan for twelve months, so it extends to the six-month period after the balloon is removed. During this time, the goal is for the patient to learn how to accurately gauge their portion sizes and change their behavior so they are making healthier lifestyle choices that promote weight loss and sustainability.

Usually, the gastric balloon results in an average weight loss of about 30 pounds, but this varies greatly by patient and many will lose much more.

Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG)
ESG is a non-surgical procedure that gives patients weight loss results that are similar to gastric sleeve surgery without the risks, complications, or recovery time associated with bariatric surgery. The procedure takes about an hour to complete and is done from inside the patient’s stomach. Using an endoscope, the doctor reshapes the stomach into a smaller sleeve-like shape and places stitches to hold it in place using a special suturing device.

The smaller stomach size helps patients eat much smaller portions and slows down the rate at which their stomach empties. This helps them eat less and keeps them from getting hungry as frequently, which facilitates weight loss. Because the procedure is done from inside the individual’s body, there is no need for abdominal incisions, which significantly lowers the potential for complications and makes for a speedier recovery.

One of the best things about endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is that there are no activity restrictions after the procedure. You rest for a few days, and then you can exercise, go back to work, and resume your normal activities. After surgery, you have numerous restrictions for several weeks to allow your body to heal. Additionally, ESG can be reversed if necessary. Most patients who have the ESG procedure lose an average of 40% of their excess body weight in a year.

How Much Weight Can You Lose With Non-Surgical Procedures And Weight Loss Surgeries?

When you are looking at the different options for weight loss assistance, it is important to remember that much of your success depends on you, regardless of whether you undergo bariatric surgery or opt for a non-surgical option. The procedure will help you learn portion control, and your program will help you recognize the importance of healthy lifestyle choices, but it is up to you to implement them long-term. We have seen many dedicated patients exceed the average weight loss percentage of ESG and temporary gastric balloons.

However, with that in mind, surgery takes longer to recover from, and there are more risks involved, which may eliminate it as a viable option for many. With endoscopic options like ESG or a gastric balloon, your recovery is less than a week, giving you an advantage over surgical candidates. You will be enjoying the swimming pool or a round of golf while they are still at home, waiting for their incisions to heal.

Comparison Chart Of Weight Loss Procedures: Gastric Sleeve & Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Balloon & ESG
Gastric Balloon Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG) Gastric Sleeve Gastric Bypass
Does this involve surgery? No No Yes Yes
Are surgical alterations made to the stomach through incisions? No No, there are no incisions made. The stomach is stitched smaller from the inside. Yes Yes
Are the intestines surgically re-routed? No No No Yes
Is this procedure temporary or reversible? A gastric balloon is a temporary device. While the sutures used for ESG are designed to last, the procedure is reversible. No No
Average excess weight lost in 12 months 10-15% 20% 25% 30-35%
How long does it take to recover? 3-4 days About 3 days 4-6 weeks 6-8 weeks

If you have tried to lose weight on your own and have grown frustrated, it’s time to reach out to the professionals and let us help. Dr. Janese Laster is board-certified and an expert in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Obesity Medicine, and Nutrition, and expertly trained in bariatric endoscopy. She and her team at Gut Theory Total Digestive Care are ready to partner with you on your weight loss journey to help you reach your goals and improve your health.

During your consultation, your medical and weight loss history will be reviewed, and then we will create a personalized plan that is tailored to your circumstances. Your plan may include an endoscopic procedure to help you with some of the toughest parts of losing weight, and you will learn all you need to know to help you make healthier lifestyle choices. We will provide you with real-life strategies that will help you overcome the challenges you will face during your weight loss journey and accompany you every step of the way! Set up an appointment today to learn more about how we can help you succeed with sustainable weight loss.

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