In a new study, researchers found that a relatively new obesity treatment could help people maintain their weight loss for about 5 years.
The treatment is called endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG).It a minimally invasive weight-loss procedure.
The research was conducted by a team from Weill Cornell Medicine, New York. The team was one of the first in the nation to perform ESG.
ESG is a one-day outpatient procedure using a suturing device attached to an endoscope. A series of sutures, cinching the stomach like an accordion, down to the size of a banana.
In the study, the team tracked annual weight loss for 203 obese patients who underwent ESG between August 2013 and October 2018.
The patients had a body mass index (BMI) between 32 and 46.
The researchers found that this treatment could lead to very sustainable, significant weight loss.
The patients ate less, felt full and lost weight. And there are no scars. They lost an average of up to 15% to 20% of total body weight.
This is very important because previous research has shown that when people lose at least 10% of their body weight, there will be big improvements in blood pressure, diabetes, and heart health.
In addition, the research showed less than 1% of patients experienced complications, which suggests it is a quite safe treatment.
The team hopes these results will help solve a serious “treatment gap” for more than 100 million people with obesity in the U.S.
Most of these people are unwilling or ineligible for traditional bariatric surgery.
The team suggests their new finding may help persuade insurance companies that ESG is not ‘experimental,’ but has value over patients’ lifespan.
In the future, the team plans to track the patients’ progress over the next 10 to 20 years. They will also look at hormonal responses and comorbidities.
The lead author of the study is Reem Sharaiha, MD, MSc, associate professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine.
The study was presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2019.
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