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New Procedure: minimally–invasive weight loss

As a medical negligence solicitor specialising in cases related to weight loss surgery I was interested to read of a new minimally invasive weight loss procedure, Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty.

The procedure

The endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) is a new minimally invasive weight loss procedure, also known as the ‘accordian procedure’. The procedure involves inserting a tube down a patient’s throat and suturing the stomach. The procedure can be performed in around 40 minutes and is less invasive and less expensive than traditional weight loss surgeries.

Gastroenterologist, Dr. Reem Sharaiha of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, who led the study said:

“It’s like a glorified sewing machine; there are a series of sutures going from one part of the stomach to the bottom of the stomach all the way to the top. No scars, no cuts. You are asleep, like going to the dentist to pull your teeth out.”

Dr Sharajha also stated that the new procedure could be a good option for people who are obese (meaning they have a BMI of 30 or higher) who either cannot undergo traditional weight-loss surgery due to other medical conditions or do not want to have such surgery.

The procedure is said to be suitable for people with type 2 diabetes, sleep apnoea, unhealthy cholesterol and a BMI of less than 40.

Results

The study of 91 patients published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that patients had lost 14.4% of their total body weight at 6 months, 17.6% at 12 months and 20.9% at 24 months after ESG. The early results also show that the procedure is safe and effective.

Patient BMI dropped by almost 10 points, going from a mean number of 40.7 to 32, and therefore removing the patients from the category of ‘morbidly obese’.

The study also concluded that ESG is a minimally invasive and effective endoscopic weight loss intervention. In addition to sustained total body weight loss up to 24 months, ESG reduced markers of hypertension, diabetes, and hypertriglyceridemia.

Summary

Losing weight can be very difficult for some individuals and some people may be put off by invasive surgery. Unfortunately, some people are unable to lose the necessary weight despite their best efforts with altered lifestyle changes. This new procedure appears to cater for those patients who wish to lose weight with a less invasive procedure.

I regularly act for clients who have suffered negligence as a result of weight loss surgery. Typically this includes negligently performed bypass surgery, or a failure to properly manage gastric band slippage or band erosion.  Hopefully this new ESG procedure will mean that there are fewer problems for patients undergoing weight loss surgery, but time will tell once the surgery is performed more widely.

If you are thinking of undergoing any form of weight loss procedure, I would recommend you choose a suitably qualified surgeon and I would stress the need for the surgeon to fully explain both the benefits and risks of all available procedures. If you have any questions about bariatric surgery please get in touch.

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