Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is a newer type of minimally invasive weight-loss procedure. In endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, a suturing device is inserted into your throat and down to your stomach. The endoscopist then places sutures in your stomach to make it smaller. This procedure may be an option if you’re significantly overweight — a body mass index of 30 or more — and diet and exercise haven’t worked for you.
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty leads to significant weight loss. It helps you lose weight by limiting how much you can eat. And the procedure is minimally invasive, reducing the risk of operative complications and allowing quick return to daily activities.
Like other weight-loss procedures, endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty requires commitment to a healthier lifestyle. You need to make permanent healthy changes to your diet and get regular exercise to help ensure the long-term success of endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty.
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is available to people whose body mass index (BMI) is above 30, who haven’t been successful in maintaining weight loss with lifestyle modification alone, and who don’t qualify or wish to pursue traditional bariatric surgery.
But endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty isn’t for everyone who is overweight. A screening process helps doctors see if the procedure might be beneficial for you. And you must be willing to commit to healthy lifestyle changes, regular medical follow-up and participate in behavioral therapy.
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty isn’t appropriate for anyone who has a large hiatal hernia or a condition associated with gastrointestinal bleeding, such as gastritis or peptic ulcer disease.
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is not currently covered by most health insurance.
So far, endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty has shown a favorable safety profile. Pain and nausea may occur for several days after the procedure. These symptoms are usually managed with pain and nausea medications. Most people feel better after a few days.
In addition, although it’s not designed to be a temporary procedure, endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty can be converted to other bariatric surgery.
When combined with lifestyle modification, endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty results in about 15% to 20% total body weight loss at 12 to 24 months.
If you qualify for endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, your health care team will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your procedure. You may need to have various lab tests and exams before surgery. You may have restrictions on eating, drinking and which medications you can take. You may also be required to start a physical activity program.
It’s helpful to plan ahead for your recovery after the procedure. For instance, arrange for a companion or someone else to help at home. Recovery from endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty generally takes only a few days.
As with any weight-loss program, commitment to nutrition, physical activity, emotional health and resiliency will play a large role in how much weight you lose. Typically, if someone completes the entire program and follows all the guidelines, he or she can expect to lose about 12% to 20% of his or her body weight in one year.
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty may improve conditions often related to being overweight, including:
When weight-loss surgery doesn’t work
It’s possible to not lose enough weight or to regain weight after any type of weight-loss procedure, even if the procedure itself works correctly. This weight gain can happen if you don’t follow the recommended lifestyle changes. To help avoid regaining weight, you must make permanent healthy changes in your diet and get regular physical activity and exercise.