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      7 Alternatives to Bariatric Surgery

      7 Alternatives to Bariatric Surgery
      Posted on November 4, 2022

      7 Alternatives to Bariatric Surgery

      Considering bariatric surgery? Or reconsidering it now that you've done a bit of research?

      It's not an easy decision, and it's not for everyone. It can be quite costly, and many people can't afford it, while others simply do not meet the surgical requirements. Maybe your BMI is not high enough. The side effects - both long-term and short-term - can also be off-putting. Some types of bariatric surgery cause extremely rapid weight loss that can damage your liver.

      In recent years, the increased wait times for bariatric surgery is another issue that may have you looking for alternatives. Then of course, for some, there's the concern they might gain all the weight back and have gone through all of it for nothing - and they've witnessed people they know who have done exactly that. Some people, of course, are simply (and understandably) afraid to go under the knife.

      There are new endoscopic bariatric and metabolic therapies (EBMTs) on the market now - performed using a small, flexible scope inserted through your mouth and esophagus down into your stomach. These EBMTs are same-day outpatient procedures and can reduce stomach volume - like traditional bariatric surgeries can do - but they are much less invasive with no incisions and fewer complications.

      The procedures range from intragastric balloon therapy to endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty. There's also a procedure called AspireAssist where a tube device is inserted into a patient's stomach to aspirate (or drain) stomach contents after a meal. All of these new options in the emerging field of bariatric endoscopy hold promise, but there are still issues of serious concern with these procedures.

      Because insurance providers don't usually cover these options, bariatric endoscopy presents many of the same financial barriers as bariatric surgery, and will have some of the same nutritional and psychological issues, as well as potential short- and long-term side effects.

      So what are the alternatives that don't carry those issues, dangers and side effects with them?

      Let's run through the gamut of what's out there.

      1. Comprehensive Medical Weight Loss Evaluation - Some people suddenly gain weight after a change in medication and never realize that they are prescribed medications that actually cause weight gain. Thyroid conditions are often linked to changes in weight. Other patients may move less because they have a knee condition. Hormonal issues can trigger weight gain, as can sleep irregularities. Stress is notoriously connected with weight increase. A full medical weight loss evaluation can isolate real reasons why you may be experiencing problems with your weight - and then help you address those medical issues.
      2. Nutritional Supplementation - Nutritional deficiencies can not only throw your normal hunger levels out of whack, but they can upend metabolic processes and stop your body from functioning as it should. From IV infusions to specific nutritional supplements, it's important to support your body's nutritional needs to optimize any weight loss plan.
      3. Weight Loss Medications - This is an emerging field that has really gained traction in recent years. Unlike the snake oils and quackery rife in the “diet pills” industry of the past, there are weight-loss drugs that can truly be effective and safe under medical supervision.
      4. Behavior Modification - Your relationship with food and your body image issues can have psychological or emotional roots. There are so many factors that can influence your relationship with food - from extreme trauma to simple bad habits. You might simply have developed a routine of eating while watching TV late at night. Breaking that pleasure connection and eating more mindfully without the distraction of TV can have a tremendous impact on the amount of food you consume. Uncovering the root causes of unhealthy eating can be one more key to unlocking weight loss.
      5. Healthy Eating - This is not your grandmother's grapefruit diet. Emerging science is ever changing our understanding of how our body reacts to certain foods and which food choices can actually lead to substantial, sustainable weight loss. Expertise in the latest research, however, is key to creating a plan that will work. Also, learning to cook healthy menus that actually taste good and stimulate pleasure centers in the brain is an important part of transitioning to a new way of eating.
      6. Fitness - Muscle mass is one of the best predictors of aging well, and muscle not only helps you lose weight, but it helps you sustain that weight loss - but from weight training to pilates, aerobics or HIIT, not all exercise regimens are right for you. Finding a fitness plan that works for your body and your lifestyle is key. Again, recent research on exercise, fitness and weight loss can inform your choices today and lead to greater success in your future fitness regimens.
      7. Fasting - Fasting may be an ancient religious practice, but it can also be a powerful weight loss tool. Intermittent fasting, for example, is all the rage and considered a cutting-edge weight loss technique - even though fasting has been around forever. Any fasting regimen, however, should not be undertaken without medical consultation and ongoing clinical supervision and in some cases regular lab testing.

      The bottom line is that there are a variety of alternatives that may lead to permanent weight loss via methods that are not as extreme as bariatric surgery - but can be just as effective and safer in the long run.

      We can offer medical evaluation and supervision for your weight loss journey, and we can help you sort through the alternatives to find the weight loss methods that help you achieve sustainable behavioral and lifestyle changes. Many insurance companies recognize the efficacy of programs like ours and will cover the cost.

      Contact us for a FREE consultation! Our highly trained medical team is dedicated to offering personal, customized, and safe, medically supervised solutions that can change your life - forever.


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