A Complete Guide to Medical Weight Loss Options
For years, available medical weight loss options required invasive surgeries with a long list of complications and extended recovery time. Those procedures were primarily recommended for people with a dangerously high BMI or those with a BMI that fell into the obesity range who also struggle with conditions like type 2 diabetes.
These are no longer your only options if you need help losing weight.
Non-surgical medical weight loss options are increasing in popularity. Rather than stapling your stomach, you can now make headway in your weight loss efforts using short outpatient procedures that provide lasting results.
Are you ready to begin your weight loss journey – for good this time? Keep reading to learn more.
Weight Loss Option 1: The Gastric Balloon
The gastric balloon is a medical device used to help you control your portion sizes and lose weight quickly.
Unlike other weight loss options, you don’t need any lasers, incisions, or any semi-permanent alterations to the physical size of your stomach.
Instead, a surgeon inserts the deflated balloon into your stomach via your mouth during an outpatient procedure. They then use saline to inflate the balloon to the size of a grapefruit, and you leave the office and go back to your normal life the same day. The whole thing only takes 20 minutes.
After six months, you go back to the office and remove the balloon.
Balloons like Orbera help you lose up to three times the weight as you might on diet and exercise alone. The balloon sits comfortably in your stomach to encourage portion control.
If you choose a program like Orbera, you also receive guidance from nutritionists and other experts to ensure you lose all the weight you want to lose within six months. More importantly, they focus on building healthy, long-term habits so that you can maintain your weight in the months and years after you complete your plan.
Weight Loss Option 2: Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty
The endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is another nonsurgical method used for weight loss. Known as the accordion procedure, it is a variation of the traditional gastric sleeve surgery. Instead of requiring incisions, the doctor performs the procedure through your mouth. Your procedure involves stitching and tightening your stomach by as much as 70 percent, which causes you to be fuller faster.
A doctor can perform the procedure in about 90 minutes, and you go home the same day. Unlike invasive weight loss surgeries, you don’t need to take special precautions. However, you will go on a liquid diet for the 24 hours before your surgery.
You may also experience nausea and abdominal pain after the procedure as a result of the changes to your stomach.
Even though the endoscopic sleeve doesn’t come with the same complications as a full bariatric surgery, recovery does take longer than it might with the balloon. For example, you need to avoid intense workouts for four weeks and use a liquid diet for 30 days.
You then use a semi-solid and regular diet after your stomach heals.
What Non-Surgical Option Is Right for You?
The gastric balloon and endoscopic sleeve appeal to different patients.
Let’s start with the basics: the way it works and how you cope with it.
The sleeve produces more dramatic weight loss because your stomach physically shrinks and you need to accommodate the surgery through a liquid diet, which comes with a dramatic drop in calories.
As a result, the initial weight drop results from your dramatic change in diet. You also need to be prepared to eat a liquid diet and make the associated lifestyle changes required to be a candidate for the surgery.
The balloon, however, is more of a tool than a weight loss surgery. You remain in charge of your eating and exercise habits from the minute you leave the office.
As a patient, you are at the center of your procedure. That means it’s up to you to lose both the initial weight and form the healthy habits that keep it off. The balloon helps control your portions. But it doesn’t dictate what you eat and how you move as the endoscopic sleeve does.
The gastric balloon also gives you six months to get used to your new eating habits, whatever they may be. In contrast, you can begin to revert to your old ways within a few months after your sleeve.
The real question, however, is this: what is more effective? Is it the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty or the intragastric balloon?
What’s the Most Effective Solution?
Both procedures are relatively new. While there is plenty of data related to both methods, we still need far more controlled trials to say one works better than the other decisively.
One study published in 2019 found that the mean weight loss was higher in endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty patients compared to gastric balloon patients.
However, the gastric balloon patients also typically had less weight to lose (a lower baseline BMI) than the endoscopic sleeve patients. Thus, it makes sense for endoscopic sleeve patients in the study to experience a more dramatic initial weight loss.
Weigh Your Medical Weight Loss Options
Today, you don’t need to have a BMI of 40 and risk severe complications to get help losing weight. Non-surgical medical weight loss options can now help those with a BMI of 30 lose weight without the destructive measures associated with traditional weight-loss surgeries.
The gastric balloon and the accordion procedure are two of the most popular non-surgical weight loss options on the table. Both suppress your appetite to help you lose more weight—fast. However, they are also two vastly different procedures, and you should weigh your options carefully.
Are you curious about the potential of the weight loss balloon? Click here to schedule your free consultation to learn more about the Orbera gastric balloon the program that will help you look and feel your best.