Least Invasive Weight Loss Surgery – Overview
Being overweight is not healthy. Though dieting and exercising tend to reduce excess weight significantly, this is not always the case. When a person is significantly obese, the conventional diet-exercise routine is not as effective and fails to reduce additional weight. This is where doctors recommend patients undergo weight loss surgeries.
These surgeries are performed using conventional methods as well as least invasive techniques. Most patients today prefer to go the least intrusive route when undergoing weight loss surgery.
This article will take a closer look at the best, least invasive weight loss surgery options.
What Is Endoscopy?
Endoscopy is a technique where the surgeon does not make large, prominent incisions to perform a surgical procedure. In this technique, a thin, flexible tube attached to a tiny camera is inserted through the mouth and into the digestive tract.
This allows a surgeon to access and view your digestive system without needing conventional large incisions, which are certainly high in risk. Before performing an endoscopy, the patient is administered local or general sedatives so they do not feel discomfort or pain during this surgical procedure.
Endoscopic weight loss surgeries allow doctors to use special devices and medications directly on the gastrointestinal tract, restricting the amount of food the patient can eat. According to weight loss experts, less invasive weight loss endoscopic surgery is an excellent option between medications and conventional surgery, as it produces significantly better results than medication and carries a lower risk of complications than conventional weight loss methods.
4 Types of Least Invasive Weight Loss Surgeries
Now that you understand what endoscopy entails, let’s take a deeper look at the different options you have when you decide to undergo a least-invasive weight loss surgery in the United States:
1 – Sleeve Gastrectomy or Gastric Sleeve
The sleeve gastrectomy, also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy or gastric sleeve surgery, is a minimally invasive surgery to reduce the stomach size with the goal of weight loss. This surgical procedure requires removing a portion of the stomach, which makes the stomach the size and shape of a banana.
After this procedure, patients feel full even with a small amount of food. Besides this, the surgical procedure removes the portion of the stomach which produces a hormone that makes you feel hungry more often, which helps to avoid over-eating too. Eventually, these changes help the patient to lose weight.
This least invasive weight loss surgery is an excellent alternative to conventional weight loss surgeries, such as gastric banding or gastric bypass. This is a significantly simpler solution than others as it involves less rerouting or reconnecting of the intestines. Additionally, as opposed to gastric banding, a sleeve gastrectomy does not require implanting a banding device to decrease the stomach size.
2 – Gastric Banding
Gastric banding is another popular weight loss surgical procedure. In this surgery, the surgeon attaches an inflatable band around the stomach’s upper portion, creating a smaller pouch in the stomach. This helps restrict the amount of food intake and increases the time it takes for the stomach to get empty. In addition, the gastric band also helps achieve significant weight loss in a shorter period by reducing your appetite and slowing down your digestion.
3 – Gastric Bypass
Gastric bypass also restricts the amount of food intake and prolongs the digestion process, which ultimately helps the patient lose unwanted extra weight. The Roux-en-Y procedure is the most popular method of performing gastric bypass surgery.
In this procedure, the surgeon creates a smaller pouch in the upper part of the stomach, similar to gastric banding, by using staples or elastic bands instead. This small stomach pouch is about the size of a walnut and can hold just around one ounce of food at a time.
Once the small pouch in the stomach is created, the surgeon will reroute part of the intestines by attaching (stapling) part of the intestine to the small stomach pouch. Consequently, a gastric bypass patient cannot eat much and absorbs fewer nutrients, resulting in significant weight loss.
This is one of the least invasive weight loss surgeries, with less recovery time and fewer risks of complications, too.
4 – Gastric Balloon
The Gastric Balloon weight loss procedure is a temporary but non-surgical method. It can help to reduce your body weight by as much as 10 percent. This surgery requires placing a lightweight gastric balloon in the stomach for around 6 months. The balloon helps to produce a feeling of satiation and reduces the frequency of hunger.
Every least invasive weight loss surgery listed above has benefits for certain people, depending on their individual situation and health status. So, it is highly advised to consult your general physician or a gastroenterologist to find the best-suited and most effective minimally invasive weight loss surgery.