The sad truth is that the obesity epidemic continues to grow despite the availability of diet and lifestyle counseling. In fact, more than one-third of U.S. adults are considered obese, according to recent studies. Is it any wonder that weight management is at the top of so many people’s lists?
In the past, therapeutic approaches to combat the epidemic have included diet and lifestyle modification, pharmacotherapy, and bariatric surgery. Of the three approaches, bariatric surgery has been the most effective and durable option for obese patients. But despite its proven success, less than 1 percent of obese patients actually undergo a bariatric procedure.
That’s where endoscopic therapies come in and involve intragastric balloon placement.
Medical weight management using endoscopic therapies has increasingly become more popular over the last few years. Why? Because endoscopic therapies offer greater efficacy than just diet/lifestyle changes while being less invasive than bariatric surgery.
Endoscopic technologies reproduce some of the anatomic alterations created during bariatric surgery and are proving to be effective treatments for obesity in selected patients. They additionally offer the potential advantages of reduced invasiveness, reversibility, repeatability, and cost-effectiveness. These advantages may allow endoscopic procedures to be applied to a larger segment of the population with moderate obesity.
Our endoscopic therapies include Intragastric Balloons (IGBs) which are an endoscopically placed balloon that partially fills the stomach and limits food intake. Patients report they have an enduring feeling of satiety. An IGB does not require surgery and is done as an outpatient procedure. The balloon is generally removed after a maximum of six months.