Non-surgical alternatives to weight loss

Uncontrolled obesity is a major health problem that impairs the life of people worldwide. Losing weight is the only solution to regain a satisfactory health condition and to improve the other related medical disorders.

There are a few non-surgical alternatives to weight loss that bridge the gap between rigorous diets, ineffective medications and drastic surgery. Below are presented three of the most known and successful methods: The Incisionless Anastomosis System (IAS), the Gastric Balloon (procedureless intragastric balloon) and the EndoBarrier Gastrointestinal Liner. These are reversible, considered to be safe and to offer long-term results for thousands of patients.

1. The Incisionless Anastomosis System (IAS) is a gastrointestinal non-surgical procedure for treating obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obstruction. The process involves two endoscopes inserted into the small intestine, one at the beginning and the other at the end of the digestive tract. Two magnetic rings are delivered through endoscopes, sticking to each other, creating a separate passage inside two different parts of the intestines and reducing the distance between the stomach and the anus. The tissue trapped between the magnets dies within a week, the magnets become useless, so they are eliminated through the anus. Behind remains a space that shortens the length of the small bowel; a substantial part of the food passes faster through this new created space without the nutrients from the food to be absorbed, hence the weight loss and the improvement of the other medical disorders.

2. The Gastric Balloon (procedureless intragastric balloon) is a device designed to correct obesity and other medical disorders that derive from it: diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart related issues, breathing problems (sleep apnea, snoring, heavy breathing), bone or joint diseases. It looks just like a large pill that has a catheter (thin tube) attached to it. This capsule, which contains the compressed balloon, is swallowed. Once in the stomach, the balloon is filled with liquid (saline solution) through the catheter. Then the catheter is removed by pulling on it. The entire procedure is done without anesthesia or sedation. The balloon remains in the stomach for a few months, releasing its content very slowly and becoming smaller and smaller until is small enough to be eliminated through the anus. As a result, weight loss happens because there is less room available for food, less food is eaten during a meal and the feeling of satiety appears sooner.

3. The EndoBarrier Gastrointestinal Liner is a medical device used for the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. It is a thin plastic sleeve, endoscopically delivered through the patient’s mouth up to his small intestine, just below the stomach. The procedure is done under anesthesia and lasts under an hour. The EndoBarrier coats the upper part of the small intestine, blocking food absorption in the first part of the small bowel; in this way it increases satiety although less food is eaten, provides weight loss and improves blood sugar levels. This treatment may last up to 12 months. The device is removed via another endoscopic procedure, similar to the first one used to place the EndoBarrier.


anastomosis = a connection made surgically between adjacent blood vessels, parts of the intestine, or other channels of the body;
endoscope = an instrument which can be introduced into the body to give a view of its internal parts;
digestive tract = the tube-like passage from the mouth, through the stomach and to the anus, through which food travels during digestion; alimentary canal;
metabolic syndrome = a cluster of biochemical and physiological abnormalities associated with the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes;
obstruction = anything that impedes or prevents passage or progress; an obstacle or blockage;
intragastric = situated or occurring within the stomach;
catheter = a tubular medical device for insertion into canals, vessels, passageways, or body cavities usually to permit injection or withdrawal of fluids or to keep a passage open;
satiety = the quality or state of being fed or gratified to or beyond capacity.






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