New Weight-Loss Procedure Can Help Patients Lose Significant Weight Without Invasive Surgery

Patients who have a BMI of 30 or higher and are looking for a weight-loss solution without having to undergo surgery have a new noinvasive option. The endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG), or the “accordion” procedure, allows doctors to use an endoscopic suturing device (inserted through a scope down the patient’s throat) to sew a pattern of sutures in the stomach to reduce its size, thereby reducing calorie intake.

The “accordion” procedure gets its name by the unique technique used to constrict the stomach. The doctor performing the treatment creates the sleeve by “sewing” a set of six sutures and closing down the stomach by tightening the sutures, like an accordion. This process is repeated several times from the bottom of the stomach to the top. The procedure may be done under general anesthesia and takes less than an hour. After the treatment patients go on a liquid diet for two weeks before reintroducing solid foods.

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A new study published in May in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology has found that clinically obese patients lost 14.4 percent of their total body weight in the first six months. Within a year, they continued to lose 17.7 percent of their weight, and up to 20.9 percent within two years.

This procedure is not for patients who are considered morbidly obese (a BMI of 40 or higher), but is recommended for obese patients with 40–60 pounds to lose. Like any weight-loss treatment, doctors say results are best obtained in combination with diet and exercise. Over time, the sleeve may need to be retightened to maintain results. 

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