Over the last ten years,The Three Most Important New Developments in Weight-Loss Surgery & Medical Weight Loss in Houston Articles the United States has been gradually shifting its thinking about obesity, now regarding the condition as a medical problem instead of a personal one. Considering that more than one-third of our population suffers from obesity, this shift in thinking has helped pave the way for research and development in two distinct but complementary areas: weight-loss surgery and medical weight loss. At Houston’s UT MIST Center for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, our team welcomes the latest advances described below and views them as valuable tools for fighting obesity, enabling us to better customize the treatment or procedure to meet the unique needs of each patient we serve.
Weight-loss Surgery at Houston UT MIST: What’s New?
According to Erik B. Wilson M.D., Medical Director of Weight-loss ECA Stack For Weight Loss Surgery at Houston’s UT MIST Center for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, the most exciting new development in weight-loss surgery does not require surgery at all. The ORBERA™ Intragastric Balloon System, approved by the FDA in August 2015, is placed into the stomach through the mouth during a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure. The patient is under mild sedation, and the procedure requires no incisions.
The ORBERA™ Intragastric Balloon works by occupying space inside the stomach, enabling patients to achieve weight-loss goals by helping them feel full even when they have eaten only small amounts of food. The ORBERA™ system is designed to kick-start a comprehensive medical weight-loss plan, which also includes dietary changes and regular exercise. Considered an endoscopic bariatric therapy (EBT), the ORBERA™ balloon is ideally suited for patients with a BMI of 27 or higher who would like to lose 30 to 50 pounds. It is intended for short-term use of no longer than six months.
According to an American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) task force, endoscopic bariatric therapies like ORBERA™ can help bariatric surgeons serve a specific patient population: individuals who have been unsuccessful losing weight through diet and exercise alone, or who are poor candidates for traditional bariatric procedures or simply unwilling to undergo weight-loss surgery. A September 2015 article in the journal Gastrointestinal Endoscopy summarizes the task force’s position on EBTs: “Considering the modest effects seen with medications or lifestyle intervention alone in patients with obesity, EBTs appear well suited to bridge the current management gap by offering an effective weight-loss intervention with potentially lower risks, lower costs, and higher patient acceptability.”