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Orlando Health Offers New Weight Loss Surgery

November 02, 2017

Every year, many Americans who are overweight or obese try to lose weight through diet and exercise. However, sometimes it’s not possible to lose a significant amount of weight through these methods alone. 

That’s where surgery can help. On this blog, we’ve previously discussed the different types of weight loss surgery, including gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and duodenal switch. While these procedures are still viable options for many patients, there’s a new procedure that could help a new subset of patients and enable even more people to lose weight: endoscopic sleeve plication. 

What is Endoscopic Sleeve Plication?

Endoscopic sleeve plication is a relatively new procedure that mimics the effect of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, a minimally invasive procedure in which 80 percent of the stomach is removed to restrict the amount of food someone can consume. However, with the endoscopic approach, there are no incisions and we access the stomach through the mouth.

During this procedure, we put a patient under general anesthesia and assess their stomach to make sure there are no mass, tumors or ulcers. Once we know their stomach is okay, we put in a regular endoscope, a tube that has a light and camera attached to it, and attach an additional device that allows the surgeon to suture inside the stomach. We then suture the stomach in a way that it kind of folds into itself and into a banana shape.

The Benefits of Endoscopic Sleeve

With an endoscopic sleeve, the patient will have the same restrictions in terms of food consumption as they do with a laparoscopic sleeve procedure. However, the difference is that we don’t have to make any cuts to access the stomach. It’s all done through the mouth and you can go home the same day and back to work the following day.

The obvious benefit of this procedure is that endoscopic sleeve plication is much less invasive. Still, it produces similar outcomes as a laparoscopic approach. Compared to a balloon procedure, in which a balloon is inserted into the stomach to make a patient feel partially full, endoscopic sleeve lasts longer and leads to more weight loss. Endoscopic sleeve plication also can be redone again several years later, so if a patient needs a revision we can easily perform one.

Who is a Candidate for This Procedure?

Patients who have a BMI under 40 are the best candidates for this procedure. Also, patients that have a BMI in the 30 to 35 range, which is considered obese, also have the option to get this procedure, since weight loss surgery typically isn’t a covered insurance benefit for people in this BMI range. That’s another significant benefit of the endoscopic sleeve procedure — it opens up weight loss surgery to a whole new selection of patients who haven’t been able to lose weight from diet and exercise alone and need other alternatives. 

This new procedure is a good option for many patients, especially if you’re within the 30 to 25 range or have considered putting off surgery. In my experience, the longer someone waits to undergo weight loss surgery, the more likely it is he or she will gain weight, which increases the risk of complications and affects overall weight loss. If you are dealing with multiple chronic conditions, it’s also better to undergo a weight loss procedure sooner rather than later, because your comorbidities only could get worse.

About 196,000 people had weight loss surgery in 2015, according to the most recent statistics available from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. That number could increase in the coming years thanks to endoscopic sleeve plication. This new procedure hopefully will open the door to allow more patients to get the help they really need.

For more information about weight loss surgery at Orlando Health, please visit OrlandoHealth.com/weightloss.

Are you curious about weight loss surgery?

Join us for a free information session. Information sessions are held two Thursdays each month at the Orlando Regional Medical Center from 6-7:30 pm.


Register Now

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