Weight loss is not easy, especially for those who do not have the luxury of having surgical procedures performed. Fortunately, a variety of non-surgical methods exist to help patients lose weight.
Some popular non surgical weight loss procedures include intragastric balloons and endoscopic gastric bypass surgery. This article will explore these and other innovative bariatric devices for healthy weight loss.
Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL)
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) is a newer technique that uses sound waves to “liquefy” unwanted fat, making suctioning easier. This procedure is used in addition to traditional liposuction and can be performed under local or general anesthesia. Patients removing smaller pockets of fat can often return home the same day, while those removing larger amounts may need to stay overnight.
The FDA has never approved an internal UAL device because of the risk of full-thickness skin burns and severe scarring. External UAL, on the other hand, is safe and effective. It uses a paddle-like tool that emits sound vibrations from outside the body through the skin into subcutaneous fat deposits. This liquefies the fat cells, which are then suctioned away through a small cannula.
UAL allows surgeons to remove larger volumes of fat more easily than with the traditional liposuction technique, which can result in less blood loss and bruising. Moreover, it also allows them to preserve the skin’s natural ability to contract and retract. This can lead to smoother and more balanced body sculpting and skin tightening.
The ideal candidates for UAL are normal-weight people with firm and elastic skin with pockets of excess fat in specific areas. They should be physically and mentally healthy and realistic about their expectations. Age is not usually a criterion for this procedure, although older people might experience a loss of skin elasticity that could limit results.
Endoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (ESG)
This procedure involves internal stitches that change the shape of the stomach into a tubular “sleeve.” During ESG, your gastroenterologist places a suture within your stomach to reduce its volume without incisions. The procedure takes about an hour, and patients are sent home the same day. After the procedure, you’ll begin by consuming liquids and gradually work up to solid foods.
The sleeve-shaped stomach can help you feel full faster, which leads to a reduction in your appetite. Over time, you can expect to lose up to 20 pounds a year. This helps you manage your weight and improve obesity-related medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and sleep apnea.
Like all surgical weight loss procedures, you must make and adhere to lifestyle changes to maintain your results. You’ll need to eat small portions of healthy foods and exercise regularly. Keeping up with these habits will ensure that you don’t gain back any of the weight you lost with the ESG procedure.
Sometimes, the ESG procedure may lead to gastrointestinal problems such as stomach ulcers and large hernias. Additionally, bacterial translocation to the peritoneal space can occur if the full-thickness sutures break. Therefore, it’s important to avoid drinking alcohol, eating spicy foods, and taking blood-thinning medications before the procedure.
Gastric Sleeve Gastroplasty (GSG)
The endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) procedure reduces the stomach’s size without cutting through your skin. During this minimally invasive surgery, a doctor inserts a thin tube with a camera and suturing device into your mouth and down to the stomach. Then, sutures change the stomach’s shape from a large balloon to a narrow sleeve. This limits the amount of food you can eat and affects how your body absorbs calories.
After the sleeve gastrectomy, you may experience acid reflux (heartburn) and need vitamin and mineral supplements because your stomach doesn’t absorb nutrients either. The sleeve gastrectomy also reduces your body’s production of a hormone called ghrelin, responsible for hunger. As a result, many people find they are less hungry after the sleeve gastrectomy.
While sleeve gastrectomy is an effective way to lose weight, it is not a permanent solution. Over time, the stomach can stretch out again and cause you to gain weight.
Ultrasound-Assisted Lipolysis (UAL)
UAL is an alternative to traditional liposuction. It works by disrupting fat cells and then extracting them with a tube called a cannula connected to a vacuum pressure unit. During the procedure, you will be given anesthesia so you don’t feel any pain.
Unlike traditional liposuction, UAL uses ultrasound energy to break up fat cells instead of suctioning them away. This makes it less invasive than other types of liposuction. It can also treat hard-to-reach areas of the body, such as the upper arms, back rolls, inner knees, and flanks (the “love handles”).
Another benefit of UAL is its skin-tightening effect. The ultrasound device stimulates the skin and helps it retract to the new contours created by removing the excess fat. This makes it a great option for people with loose, sagging skin that doesn’t respond well to diet and exercise.
If you’re considering UAL, make sure to discuss all of your options with your doctor. They can advise you on which treatment is best for your needs. Ultimately, all weight loss procedures are tools for helping you succeed in your journey to a healthier lifestyle. It would always help to pair them with healthy eating and exercise habits to achieve lasting results. So, start researching your options today and take the first step towards a healthier life!