For decades, those battling obesity believed that the sole effective remedy lay in opting for gastric bypass surgery. While this method was hailed as the definitive solution for significant weight loss, its invasive nature brought many potential complications and risks. Recognizing these concerns and understanding that this path wasn’t suitable for everyone, medical innovations have paved the way for safer, non-surgical alternatives.
Today, individuals can explore various options that promise the efficacy of gastric bypass without the associated challenges. Dive into this comprehensive guide to learn more about how to get gastric bypass results without surgery.
What’s Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery, also called Roux-en-Y, is a bariatric surgery performed to cause weight loss. It works by modifying your digestive system, leading you to consume and absorb fewer calories. The procedure divides your small intestine and your stomach and then connects them, forming the shape of a Y, hence the procedure’s name.
Gastric bypass decreases the size of your functional stomach, making it only a small pouch. This keeps you from overeating because your stomach can’t hold a large amount of food. The pouch is then connected to a lower segment of your intestine, so when the food passes through your digestive system, not all of the nutrients will be absorbed. Fewer calories absorbed means significant weight loss.
One of the things you need to keep in mind if you’re researching how to get gastric bypass surgery is that you need to have an elevated BMI above a certain threshold and potentially have weight-related comorbidities, but you have to be healthy enough for this type of invasive procedure. Not everyone can tolerate such an invasive surgery and receive the necessary anesthesia. You may also not have the time for the lengthy recovery this surgical procedure requires.
Another concern is that using NSAIDs is not possible after gastric bypass surgery. After gastric bypass, NSAID alternatives might not be appropriate for some people, either, so it leaves no real options for treating the pain that occurs as you recover.
You also need to meet specific criteria to be eligible for the procedure. They include having a BMI of 40 or more and being 100 pounds overweight or having a BMI of 35 and having health conditions driven by being overweight.
Because nutrition issues can be a side effect of gastric bypass surgery, individual doctors have their criteria for deciding whether you’re eligible for the procedure.
Because of the complications and restrictions involved with gastric bypass surgery, searching for alternatives to this procedure can be crucial.
4 Alternatives to Gastric Bypass
If you’re hesitant about going through a complex procedure, there are gastric bypass surgery alternatives you can turn to for help.
Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty
One alternative to gastric bypass you should consider is an endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty. It’s a non-surgical alternative that reduces the volume of your stomach. Without needing to make incisions, your doctor can get access to your stomach and make the necessary modifications.
How is this possible? For this alternative to gastric bypass surgery, your doctor uses an endoscope — a thin tube with a tiny camera at one end — to go into your stomach via your throat. Using tools attached to the endoscope, the provider adds stitches to close off a portion of your stomach.
The procedure brings the walls of your stomach together, giving the organ a tubular shape that reduces gastric volume by 75% to 80%. Reducing stomach volume means you feel full after only a small amount of food. Emptying your stomach takes longer as well.
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is a good option for people with a BMI of 30 or more who don’t want to undergo a surgical procedure. It can also be an alternative for those who can’t undergo more invasive surgery.
An endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty offers many benefits, including not requiring a long recovery process or the procedure taking a long time. It provides significant results and saves you the stress of going through surgery. It is also a much more affordable option that doesn’t require a hospital stay.
Orbera Weight Loss Balloon
Another one of the popular alternative to bypass surgery is the Orbera weight loss balloon procedure. It utilizes an intragastric balloon the doctor places in your stomach, restricting its capacity for a set amount of time. The balloon is filled with a sterile saline solution, making you feel full even after consuming a small amount of food.
There’s no need for incisions for this alternative to gastric bypass surgery because it’s done with an endoscope via your mouth. Most people receive moderate sedation but do not need general anesthesia and they continue to breathe on their own throughout the process.
One of the benefits of this option is that the balloon stays in place for about six months, allowing you to determine whether it’s an effective option. If you need to have it removed earlier, the doctor can do so.
This procedure is also less expensive than a surgical option, and it allows people who can’t undergo surgery but want to lose weight safely the chance to do so. Many who aren’t eligible for a gastric bypass are suitable for the Orbera weight loss balloon.
Spatz3 Weight Loss Balloon
If you’re exploring gastric bypass without surgery, this option is similar to the Orbera balloon but is adjustable. To insert this balloon, your doctor does not have to make incisions; it only takes about 15 minutes.
Using an endoscope, the doctor inserts the balloon — made of durable silicone — and uses the inflation port to increase or decrease the volume. This is vital to prevent the weight plateaus many other types of gastric balloons lead to. If you experience any intolerance, the volume can be reduced quickly.
The Spatz3 weight loss balloon is only one part of a weight loss program. Because you can’t have the balloon permanently in your body, you must combine this procedure with lifestyle changes that help you maintain the weight loss you achieve.
The best candidates for this option are people who need to lose significant weight and who can’t or don’t want to undergo a surgical procedure. You need to have a BMI that is 27 or higher.
With this balloon, the recovery process is short. You may want to rest for about two or three days, but compared to the weeks you need to recover from gastric bypass surgery, it’s much easier to undergo.
Most weight loss balloons can start losing their effectiveness about four months after the procedure, but the Spatz3 balloon avoids that problem by making it easier for your doctor to increase the volume as needed.
Medical Weight Loss
Obesity is a chronic disease that requires a multidisciplinary approach, and sometimes chronic treatment. Medical weight loss has gained popularity as an alternative to gastric bypass and to bariatric surgery in general. Medical weight loss programs combine tailored nutrition plans, physical activity, behavioral modifications, and often the use of weight loss medications. For a long time, weight loss medications were not well tolerated nor were they very effective. More recently, with the introduction of newer classes of weight loss medications, such as the GLP-1 receptor agonists, results have been much more significant. These medications are more suited for long-term use, making them a reasonable alternative to gastric bypass surgery.
Gastric Bypass Revision
Bariatric surgery can promise the results you want, but it doesn’t always work as planned. Bariatric revision is an outpatient procedure that can help if you’ve experienced weight gain after bariatric surgery. Many patients lose significant weight with bariatric surgery, but a few years later, they start seeing the weight come back. A bariatric revision can help you get back on track.
After a gastric bypass, if weight regain occurs, a Transoral Outlet Reduction (TORe) procedure, also referred to as a gastric bypass revision, can be performed.
It is a non-surgical procedure that tightens the outlet (the opening to your gastric pouch)h. The stomach pouch itself can also be tightened limiting its capacity. Keep in mind that gastric bypass revision is designed for people who have had a Roux-en-Y bypass surgery and not a sleeve gastrectomy. If you experienced weight regain after a sleeve gastrectomy, a gastric sleeve revision may be an option.
To perform the procedure, you receive anesthesia. With an endoscopic suture, your doctor can tighten the opening of your stomach pouch to what it was right after your original bariatric surgery procedure.
This procedure doesn’t require admission to the hospital or involve a long recovery time. It takes just 20-30 minutes to perform and offers results you can rely on.
To be a good candidate for the procedure, you must have received bariatric surgery and noticed you’re gaining weight again because your stomach’s opening has enlarged.
Non-Surgical Weight Loss Procedures From the Silhouette Clinic
Your journey to achieving lasting weight loss can be frustrating if you struggle with obesity and find a procedure like a gastric bypass surgery impossible to go through. However, when you turn to The Silhouette Clinic, you can learn all about alternatives to gastric bypass you can count on.
With options like endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, Orbera weight loss balloons, Spatz3 weight loss balloons, and medical weight loss, people who might not be able to undergo extensive surgery can still jumpstart their weight loss. Our team of experts is here to help you find the solutions to your weight loss needs that accommodate your health concerns, preferences, and budget.
Contact the Silhouette Clinic today to schedule your consultation for non-surgical weight loss.