Almost everyone is familiar with the concept of bariatric surgery, and they understand that individuals often lose a significant amount of weight after undergoing either a gastric sleeve or a gastric bypass. But what they probably do not know is that over half of these patients gain every bit of the weight that they lost back (sometimes more) between two and five years after their surgery. We will delve into why this happens a bit later in the article.
Today, there are non-surgical procedures that offer similar results to bariatric surgery, but they are performed through bariatric endoscopy. These procedures do not involve any incisions and do not surgically remove or make any permanent changes to the patient’s digestive system. Patients can return to their normal routines much faster after a non-surgical endoscopic procedure because recovery is much faster and less painful than after bariatric surgery.
Whether a patient loses weight through surgery or by undergoing a non-surgical weight loss procedure at a center for bariatric endoscopy, sustaining that weight loss will require the same tactics.
Today we are going to talk about non-surgical weight loss procedures and what it takes after the procedure to reach your goal weight and maintain it long-term.
What Is A Center For Bariatric Endoscopy?
When an individual has tried to lose weight on their own and has been unsuccessful, they often turn to a professional for help. Historically, the only type of help available was that of a bariatric surgeon. Today, there are procedures that can be completed from the inside out using an endoscope without incisions or surgery.
A center for bariatric endoscopy is a practice that has a specialist who has been trained to perform these types of procedures.
What Weight Loss Procedures Can Be Done With Bariatric Endoscopy?
There are two popular weight loss procedures that can be completed using an endoscope and do not require incisions or surgery of any kind. Suture Sculpt endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty and a gastric weight loss balloon procedure.
An endoscope is a medical device that resembles a thin, flexible hose that is hollow in the center. It has a light and a camera mounted on one end and is lowered down a patient’s throat to access the procedure location. The camera streams real-time video to a monitor located near the doctor to help them navigate the procedure with exceptional proficiency. The endoscopic procedure is performed with the patient under sedation, so they will not feel any discomfort.
The Benefit Of Endoscopic Procedures For Weight Loss
Today, there are non-surgical procedures that offer similar results to bariatric surgery, but they are performed through bariatric endoscopy.
1. The Orbera Gastric Balloon
Good candidates for the Orbera balloon are patients who have a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or higher and who are willing to participate in a year-long supervised weight loss program. The Orbera balloon is a medical device made of soft silicone that resembles a balloon when inflated. If you have had stomach surgery, a hernia, or are pregnant or nursing, a gastric balloon would not be the best choice for you.
A gastric weight-loss balloon can help a patient lose a substantial amount of weight without the need for bariatric surgery. The deflated balloon is placed into the patient’s stomach through an endoscope and then filled up with a sterile saline solution until it takes up about 34 of the stomach’s capacity.
The balloon helps to promote weight loss because the patient can only eat very small amounts at mealtime and their stomach takes longer to empty, so they feel full for a longer period of time. Two things that weight loss patients always have issues with are portion control and appetite suppression, and the Orbera balloon is an effective tool to address both.
The balloon remains in the patient’s stomach for 6 months, during which time the patient participates in a supervised program that provides them with a high level of support. Patients receive individualized support and guidance, which may include services for emotional and behavioral health, specialized dietary and nutritional counseling, fitness assistance, etc. Patients continue to participate in the supervised program for six months after the balloon is removed.
The patient learns how to recognize the signs of satiety and to stop eating before they overeat, as well as the importance of incorporating nutritional food choices and daily exercise into their lives.
2. Suture Sculpt Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty
Suture Sculpt endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) is a non-surgical weight loss method suitable for patients with a body mass index of 30 or more. During the procedure, the patient’s stomach is decreased to around 25 percent of its previous size, allowing them to better regulate their portion sizes. Additionally, the decreased stomach size helps patients feel “satisfied” for longer.
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty can help patients lose just as much weight or more than bariatric gastric sleeve surgery, but without the risks or complications that come with a surgical procedure. The procedure takes less time to complete and is done as an outpatient procedure, so there is no need for a hospital stay.
The procedure involves reducing the size of the patient’s stomach by reshaping it and holding the new shape in place with sutures. This is completed through the endoscope from the inside, and there are no incisions created, unlike during gastric sleeve surgery, where 75% of the patient’s stomach is surgically removed. ESG can be reversed if necessary.
Most patients are back to their normal routine within a week, and they do not have any activity restrictions. This allows patients to pursue a healthier lifestyle and start getting some physical exercise much sooner than if they had to recover from surgery.
After the ESG procedure, patients are not able to eat as much during one meal, and they will stay feeling full longer. Patients have reported weight losses of over 100 pounds after having Suture Sculpt ESG.
The Relationship Between Lifestyle and Weight Loss After Bariatric Endoscopy
As mentioned earlier, about 50% of the patients who undergo bariatric surgery gain back all the weight they previously lost, and some even become heavier than they were before they had surgery. Losing weight is a challenge, but keeping it off can be an even bigger one for many people.
Not all patients lose the weight they expected, and then there are those that do and can maintain their weight loss long-term. What factors can influence a patient’s success with weight loss that is sustainable? How come one person can lose weight and keep it off and another cannot? There can be a few reasons for this, but the simple answer is that in most cases, it is lifestyle-driven.
- Initial Weight Loss
- After any type of weight loss procedure, initial weight loss normally happens fairly rapidly. Usually, in the first three months, patients will lose a significant amount of weight because their bodies need to heal from the alterations made to their stomachs or digestive systems. Another reason is that while the body is healing, they must reacclimate their stomachs to eating and must begin with a liquid diet and work their way back up to solid foods. Many times this process takes several weeks, so it stands to reason that these circumstances would promote rapid weight loss.
- Behavior & Lifestyle Changes
- Obesity is a complex issue that can stem from many underlying causes that can be attributed to genetics, hormones, or a medical condition. It can also be a side effect of depression or emotionally triggered eating behaviors, or it can be as simple as the individual consuming more calories than they are burning. If these underlying conditions are not identified and addressed, then the patient’s initial weight loss will just be temporary.
A professional who is trained in obesity management will have the resources to pinpoint any obstacles that would prevent the patient from losing weight and keeping it off.
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Helping patients understand the importance of eating a healthy balanced diet and teaching them how to identify which foods to eat and which to avoid helps them prepare for a lifetime of healthy eating.
Providing meal planning guidance and resources for recipes and portion information will help patients learn how to locate and prepare healthy meals that they will enjoy eating, will promote weight loss, and will provide them with the energy they need.
- Learning critical nutritional needs
- The body needs certain vitamins and minerals to function properly. After having a weight loss procedure, the stomach can not hold as much food, so it is very important to make sure to eat the things that the body needs first. One of these vital components is protein, so this needs to be the first thing that is eaten during each meal.
Working with a professional will help patients identify what their body needs and how to fulfill that need. Usually, patients will need to take supplemental vitamins to ensure they get the recommended daily amount.
- Perfect Portions
- One of the helpful tools that can help a weight loss patient is an illustration of what they are supposed to eat and how much. Many weight loss dieticians use what is called the “bariatric plate model” to help patients practice mindful eating. There are even actual plates that can be purchased that have illustrations on them.
The recommended percentages may vary by patient, but the concept is the same. Protein should be the largest portion on the plate, followed by vegetables and fruits, and then finally whole carbohydrates.
- Behavior modification and your brain
- Patients must look for the types of behaviors that are contrary to their weight loss and health goals, and then they must take steps to change them. Experts say that it takes anywhere between 2 and 8 months to solidify a new behavior in your life, depending on the circumstances.
For instance, an individual eats ice cream every night while watching TV in bed. This is a behavior that needs to change as it is contrary to their long-term goals. Their brain is trained to think, “I’m sitting in bed watching TV, so it’s Ben & Jerry time!” This is a habit that formed because this person demonstrated this behavior over a period of time. How do we break this habit and learn new ones? A professional can provide this patient with strategies and alternative behaviors that will promote and not hinder their weight loss efforts.
Another example: this individual arrives at work every day, takes the elevator up to the second floor, sits at a desk all day long, and even eats at their desk. A great modification that will help support this individual’s weight loss goals would be to take the stairs to and from the ground floor at work and to avoid eating at their desk. Perhaps find another location to eat lunch and then take a short walk before continuing to work.
- Fool Your Brain
- The human brain is very adept at making decisions based on the input it receives from the eyes. If you have two juice glasses, one short and wide and the other tall and thin, both will be filled with 5 oz of juice. You give these to two different children, and one is going to complain that you gave the other child more juice because that is what it looks like to them.
As adults, our brains still do this to us, so we need to take measures to, in a way, fight back. Weight loss dieticians advise patients to use a smaller plate to eat their meals because it appears to the brain that they have decent-sized portions and not significantly smaller ones than they are historically accustomed to eating. A professional can offer many different tips and tricks that can help you with these types of situations and make your weight loss journey smoother.
- Physical Activity Is Critical To Maintain Weight Loss
- Exercise is an essential component of losing weight and keeping it off.This does not necessarily mean hitting the gym every day, but some form of physical activity needs to be a part of the daily routine. A professional can help you choose activities you enjoy that count as exercise!
One of the easiest and lowest-impact activities that does not require any special equipment or even another person to participate in is walking.
Walking is highly underrated as an exercise, but it offers many benefits, especially to those just starting out. Let’s face it, if you have led a fairly sedentary lifestyle up until your weight loss procedure, deciding you are going to jog 3 miles a day will be an unattainable goal for you to begin with. You will get frustrated, discouraged, and maybe even give up.
Almost everyone can walk. even if it is a 10-minute walk down the street and back at first. It is still burning calories, and that counts. You can work your way up to longer distances and a faster pace as you gain stamina.
Support Is The Missing Element In Many Weight Loss Programs
Turning unhealthy behaviors into new healthy habits is the foundation for sustainable weight loss; however, this is easier said than done. Someone who has struggled with their weight for a long time will not suddenly know what to do differently.That is where support comes in and will bridge the gap between those who maintain their weight loss and those who do not.
Patients need a strong support system and knowledgeable professionals to teach them how and why to make certain changes and strategies that will help their weight loss efforts yield results.
Support + Patient Efforts = Sustainable Weight Loss
At Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Centers, we offer the highest level of support to help our patients reach their weight loss goals and maintain them in the long run. Many weight loss efforts fail because patients are left to flounder on their own after undergoing bariatric surgery or a weight loss procedure.
We offer a comprehensive program that can address the issues that hinder weight loss, such as the ones we discussed above, and help them work through them during their weight loss journey. Our patients have access to help with necessary lifestyle changes, health coaching, nutritional support, behavior modification, etc. through our OnTrack Lifestyle Coaching program. Patients who have access to a high level of support and use it are more successful.
We offer both in-person and video chat sessions, and we also have a private Facebook page where patients can find support from the center’s professionals and their peers and get answers to their questions.
If you are looking for help with weight loss and would like to find a center for bariatric endoscopy in NYC, you have found it! If you are outside of the NYC area, we would still love to help you with your weight loss journey. Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center offers in-person support as well as video conferencing options and has helped individuals from far and near regain their health and their quality of life.
Contact us today and set up an appointment to learn more!