Ultimately, the decision to undergo endoscopic bariatric treatment should be made in consultation with an individual’s unique needs and circumstances.
Endoscopic bariatric treatments have emerged as a minimally invasive and increasingly popular alternative for individuals struggling with obesity who have not achieved significant weight loss through conventional means. These innovative procedures offer several advantages over traditional weight loss surgery while presenting their own set of risks and benefits. Dr Sandeep R Sharma, Consultant – Interventional & Medical Gastroenterology, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road & Nagarbhavi, Bengaluru, typically suggests them for people with BMIs ranging from 35 to 40 kg/m2.
Types Of Endoscopic Bariatric Treatments
1. Gastric Balloon Placement: This procedure involves inserting an inflatable balloon into the stomach through the mouth. The gastric balloon occupies space in the stomach for six months.
2. Intragastric Botox Injection: Botox, a muscle-relaxing medication, is injected into the stomach muscles. This promotes a sensation of fullness and slows digestion. Botox injections are administered every four to six months.
3. Gastric Plication: Gastric plication creates folds in the stomach lining, effectively reducing the stomach’s capacity. This results in a quicker sense of fullness. Unlike other treatments, gastric plication is typically performed as a one-time procedure.
4. Endoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy: In this procedure, a portion of the stomach lining is removed, reducing the stomach’s size and making it more challenging to consume large meals. It is usually a one-time procedure.
Benefits Of Endoscopic Bariatric Treatments
Endoscopic bariatric treatments offer several compelling benefits for individuals seeking weight loss:
1. Minimally Invasive: These procedures are minimally invasive, meaning they do not require large incisions or general anaesthesia, which can be advantageous to traditional surgery.
2. Reduced Pain and Discomfort: Patients often experience less pain and discomfort than traditional weight loss surgeries, making the recovery process more manageable.
3. Shorter Recovery Time: Recovery time is typically shorter, enabling patients to return to regular activities sooner.
4. Cost-Effective: Endoscopic bariatric treatments tend to be less expensive than traditional weight loss surgeries, making them a viable option for individuals concerned about the financial aspect of their healthcare.
Risks Associated With Endoscopic Bariatric Treatments
While endoscopic bariatric treatments offer a promising alternative and complications, including:
1. Bleeding: The risk associated with these procedures is generally lower than traditional surgery.
2. Infection: Although the risk is relatively low, infection at the insertion sites or within the stomach can occur.
3. Perforation: Although rare, the stomach or oesophagus may become perforated during the procedure.
4. Gastrointestinal Symptoms: These treatments may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, or other gastrointestinal symptoms.
5. Weight Regain: As with any weight loss procedure, there is a weight potential regain over time.
Endoscopic bariatric treatments represent a promising option for individuals struggling with obesity and seeking a less invasive alternative to traditional weight loss surgery. While they come with certain risks, they offer numerous benefits, including reduced pain, shorter recovery times, and cost-effectiveness. Ultimately, the decision to undergo endoscopic bariatric treatment should be made in consultation with an individual’s unique needs and circumstances.