What are Endobariatric Procedures?
Obesity is at epidemic levels in the United States with over 30% of the adult population falling into BMI categories for obesity.
Many individuals who are overweight or obese suffer from illnesses that are a direct result of their weight.
They need to lose weight but they need a little help and wish to avoid surgery. This is where endobariatrics can help.
What does Endobariatric mean?
Endobariatrics is a term that is used to describe procedures that are used to help patients lose weight without the use of Bariatric Surgery. This is a relatively new branch of gastroenterology that can help several groups of patients lose weight through minimally invasive procedures.
Endobariatric procedures are performed using a medical instrument called an endoscope. An endoscope is a small, flexible, and hollow tube that has a camera on the end. The hollow tube allows for additional tiny surgical tools to be inserted and used during the procedure.
Endoscopic procedures are done by lowering the endoscope down the patient’s throat. There are no incisions or long extended recovery times. Endobariatric procedures carry fewer risks than surgical procedures and there are no resulting visible scars.
Who is a Candidate for an Endobariatric Procedure?
- Overweight Individuals – Most bariatric surgeries have BMI requirements of 40+ or 35 with obesity-related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes. Some individuals fall just below these qualifications but would like to take action before they reach the higher BMI threshold for obesity.
- Obese Individuals – Individuals who qualify for bariatric surgery but wish to take a non-surgical approach to weight loss.
- Super Obese Individuals – Sometimes a patient’s health can disqualify them from undergoing surgery and an endoscopic procedure would be an excellent alternative. It may be used as an interim solution until a patient can safely qualify for surgery.
Endobariatric Weight Loss Procedures
There are different endobariatric weight loss procedures available that offer significantly less invasive solutions than bariatric surgery such as:
Orbera® Balloon Endoscopic Procedure
Orbera® Gastric Balloon is made from soft silicone and filled with a special saline solution until it reaches the size of a grapefruit. The Orbera® Balloon takes up space in the patient’s stomach and limits the amount of food they can eat at one time. The balloon also helps the patient feel ‘full” between meals.
A deflated Orbera® Balloon is lowered down the patient’s throat with the use of an endoscope and once positioned, is filled with saline. The procedure usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes and patients return home the same day. Recovery normally only takes 2-3 days. The Orbera® Balloon is only a temporary tool and is endoscopically removed from the patient’s stomach after six months. Patients continue to work with their support team for another six months after the removal of the balloon.
The Orbera® Balloon is accompanied by an entire support program for a 12-month period. The support includes diet, nutrition, exercise, and other professional support. The goal is for the patient to implement permanent lifestyle changes including a consistently healthy diet with daily exercise that will ensure weight loss results are maintained. Patients have lost between 33 and 92 pounds while using the Orbera® Balloon for six months.
ESG Endoscopic Procedure
Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG) is a weight loss procedure that is done endoscopically without surgery. A special Apollo ESG suturing device is lowered down the endoscope and is used to reshape the stomach and make the usable portion smaller.
The stomach is divided and shaped into a banana-like pouch and secured using the Apollo ESG system with 7 to 12 sutures. The smaller stomach helps patients feel full longer and limits the amount of food that can be eaten in one sitting.
ESG takes between 30-45 minutes, is usually performed in an outpatient facility, and does not require a hospital stay. Recovery normally takes about a week and patients end up with results similar to gastric sleeve surgery but without incisions, scars, or the risks associated with a surgical procedure.
Sometimes patients undergo bariatric surgery and do not experience the weight loss they expected or they regain weight. This can be due to the stomach stretching out since the initial surgery or a widening of the opening at the mouth of the stomach. Both of these issues can be corrected through an endoscope using the special Apollo Revise Suturing Device without having to undergo another surgery.
Endobariatrics offer patients viable Weight Loss tools
with Significant Weight Loss potential
The Orbera© Balloon, ESG, and endoscopic revisions offer patients a tool to help curb their hunger and limit portions. These tools coupled with the patient’s modified eating habits, and lifestyle changes including regular exercise, and utilization of ongoing support, will be successful in helping them lose weight and continue to maintain it.
Watch below the video testimonials of our patients who underwent endobariatric procedures at IBI Healthcare Institute.
IBI HealthCare Institute Expertise in Endobariatrics
At IBI Healthcare Institute, all endoscopic procedures are performed by board-certified surgeons. Dr. Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS was one of the first certified surgeons in the Southeast Region to perform endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) and is a leader in endobariatrics. Choosing a surgeon who is qualified to perform an endoscopic weight loss procedure is critical to achieving your desired goal and mitigating potential risks.
Non-surgical, endoscopic options have been urgently needed for years and are wonderful alternatives to surgery. Endoscopic alternatives used with a combination of education, psychological, nutritional, and motivational therapies offer patients a holistic approach to wellness.