To be considered morbidly obese, a patient typically weighs more than 100 pounds over their optimal body weight. Their body mass index (BMI) would also be 40 or higher – significantly above the desired BMI range of 20 to 25. Further, they may experience obesity-related health issues, like diabetes, osteoarthritis, or heart disease.
Weight loss surgery is a preferred option for many patients who meet these criteria, but it’s not the only choice available. If you wish to avoid surgical solutions or cannot undergo surgery, several non-surgical weight loss procedures can help achieve your goals. Here, Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates, P.A., breaks down a few of the non-surgical obesity treatments available to our patients.
The AspireAssist, a device that operates like a stomach pump, provides a non-surgical obesity treatment option for many patients with a BMI between 35 and 55. The device enters the stomach through a thin tube via the throat in a quick, 15-minute procedure. Once inside, it removes approximately 30% of the food a patient consumes before it reaches the intestines, minimizing caloric intake and promoting weight loss.
The AspireAssist procedure is reversible, does not change the patient’s digestive system, and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Yet, for many patients, it’s just as effective as a surgical weight loss option. One clinical trial found that patients lost up to three times more weight than diet and exercise alone, with some losing up to 40% of their excess body weight in the first year. For those with diabetes, the results showed an average two-year weight loss of about 53 pounds.
Also known as intragastric balloons, a gastric balloon is another non-surgical obesity treatment that is reversible and keeps a patient’s anatomy intact. When paired with a healthy diet and active lifestyle, the gastric balloon procedure has been shown to help patients feel fuller faster, remain satisfied longer, and lose a significant amount of weight.
A gastric balloon is inserted into the stomach using a long, tube-like tool called an endoscope during a trusted procedure that has been successfully used for three decades. Once inside the stomach, the balloon inflates and occupies about 40% of the space. According to the FDA, it is a more effective weight loss solution for the morbidly obese than dieting alone. However, it is typically reserved for patients who have struggled with other weight loss attempts, especially nutritional approaches.
For morbidly obese patients who have undergone prior weight loss surgery but regained the weight, ROSE (Restorative Obesity Surgery, Endolumenal) procedures may be recommended. Over time, the stomach or stoma tends to stretch back to its original size, making it easier for patients to overeat and gain weight. ROSE procedures reverse this stretching with an incision-free technique that returns the stomach and stoma to their original post-surgical size. The state-of-the-art medical tools used to complete the procedure are inserted via the mouth, and the entire process carries less risk than many other surgical options for these patients.
Make Positive Changes Without Surgery
Many morbidly obese patients are eager to get their health on track, but have reservations about surgery or are not good candidates for these procedures. In these cases, Dr. Andrei and his team at Bariatric Associates, P.A., will recommend the nonsurgical obesity procedures best suited to the individual’s needs and goals. To learn more about non-surgical obesity options, contact us today.