Endoscopic Weight Loss Therapies
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Endoscopy involves the insertion of a flexible tube with a camera at its tip into the mouth and esophagus to see the digestive tract and perform procedures. If you are not ready for or able to have weight loss surgery, you may be able to undergo an endoscopic weight loss procedure. NewYork-Presbyterian’s interventional endoscopists perform these procedures and work as part of a team to help you lose weight and improve your health. These procedures may not be covered by some health insurance plans, so be sure to check with yours if you are considering having one of them.
Who Can Have an Endoscopic Weight Loss Therapy?
You may be able to have an endoscopic weight loss procedure if you are obese, but not significantly overweight (body mass index, or BMI, between 30 and 40). Examples include people who have:
- A BMI of less than 40 without other medical problems.
- A BMI of 30-35 with high blood pressure, high cholesterol/triglycerides, type 2 diabetes, or sleep apnea.
- Large amounts of abdominal scarring from injuries or previous procedures, preventing surgeries.
Types of Endoscopic Weight Loss Procedures
NewYork-Presbyterian offers the following endoscopic weight techniques:
- Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty. The endoscopist advances an endoscope through your mouth into your stomach and inserts sutures in a specific pattern from the bottom of the stomach to the top. The sutures are tightened in an accordion-like fashion, reducing the amount of space in your stomach for food.
- Endoscopic intragastric balloon. The intragastric balloon takes up space within your stomach, limiting the amount of food you can eat during a meal. You may swallow the balloon, or the endoscopist may use an endoscope to advance the uninflated balloon through your mouth and down your esophagus. After the balloon is in place in your stomach, it is filled with saline or a special gas, expanding to the size of a softball or grapefruit.
- AspireAssist device. This device is a thin tube inserted in your stomach that helps you empty the food from your belly after a meal, limiting the amount of the food you absorb. The tube is inserted into your stomach through an endoscope and is connected from the inside of your stomach directly to a discreet button on the outside of your abdomen. The tube and device combination is attached when the “emptying” process begins. The entire device is the size of a smartphone and comes with a small stowaway case.