Least Invasive Weight Loss Surgery
Least invasive weight loss surgery is always preferable as long as you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. Obesity in the US and Canada has grown to epidemic proportions in recent decades. However, every obesity patient is unique and will have different health needs and weight loss goals. Therefore, experienced bariatric surgeons will never adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss surgery.
Based on a detailed evaluation, your surgeon will recommend the most appropriate bariatric procedure for you. During your initial consultation, be prepared to discuss various least invasive weight loss surgery options. Your surgeon will explain to you the risk-reward ratio of different options, and help you make an judicious choice. Depending on your needs, you could also be a candidate for non-invasive bariatric surgery.
What is least invasive weight loss surgery?
Least invasive weight loss surgery, as the name suggests, is a bariatric procedure that involves minimal surgical intervention to help you achieve your weight loss goals. It’s vital to understand that these surgeries are less invasive in a relative sense.
For instance, a gastric bypass could be least invasive for someone who wants to avoid duodenal switch, and a gastric sleeve could be least invasive for a patient who does not want gastric bypass.
Advantages of Least Invasive Bariatric Surgery
Many patients wish to undergo the least invasive bariatric surgery for the following potential benefits:
- Less pre-operative preparation
- Shorter duration of the surgery and anesthesia
- Minimal post-surgical pain and discomfort
- Faster recovery and reduced downtime
- Less rigorous dietary restrictions
- Lower risk of complications
- More affordable cost of surgery in some cases
Limitations of Least Invasive Bariatric Surgery
When you ask your surgeon about, “What is the least invasive weight loss surgery,” you should also note its limitations, as follows:
- Not everyone is good candidate for this surgery
- The amount of excess weight loss is limited
- The speed of weight loss may be slow
- Ignoring the diet plan can result in rapid weight regain
- Full resolution of co-morbidities may not occur
- Success rates may be lower in some of these surgeries
- Not all surgeons are equipped to perform this surgery
Least invasive weight loss surgery options
A number of least invasive weight loss surgery options are available today to address the unique needs of patients. The key is to choose the correct procedure that can meet your health and weight loss goals most effectively and with the least possible risk.
Here are some of the popular minimally invasive bariatric surgery options to consider:
- Gastric Balloon: This is a completely non-invasive bariatric surgery, which means that no cuts or incisions are involved in this procedure. Your surgeon will use local anesthesia and IV sedation to perform an intra-gastric balloon procedure. They will insert a special deflated balloon into your stomach pouch via your mouth, and then inflate it with saline water. The balloon will occupy a major portion of your stomach, thereby reducing your capacity to eat. The balloon will be removed in a few months as your body gets trained to eat less.
- Endoscopic Sleeve: This is one of the least invasive weight loss surgery options available today. The surgeon will introduce a tiny camera (endoscope) into your stomach pouch through your mouth. Viewing the underlying structures on an external monitor, your surgeon will place small sutures in your pouch to reduce its size. As the storage capacity of your stomach reduces, you will feel less hungry and will eat smaller food portions. Backed by a scientific gastric sleeve diet program, you can achieve significant weight loss with this surgery.
- Single Incision VSG: Single incision VSG or single incision gastric sleeve surgery is a recent, highly innovative approach to performing bariatric surgery. As the name suggests, the procedure just involves one incision (instead of the usual 5 to 6 incisions) from where the surgeon will perform the stomach size reduction. The advantage of this least invasive bariatric surgery is that the post-op scarring is minimal. As this is one of the new least invasive surgery options, only a few surgeons currently offer it.
- Gastric Sleeve: Sleeve gastrectomy or gastric sleeve is the most popular minimally invasive weight loss surgery today. While the procedure is more invasive than a gastric balloon or an endoscopic sleeve, it is still considerably less invasive than a gastric bypass or a duodenal switch surgery. In this procedure, your bariatric surgeon will remove about 80% of your stomach volume, leaving behind a small, sleeve-shaped stomach pouch. You can successfully get rid of obesity with a gastric sleeve surgery.
- Gastric Bypass: While this surgery is more invasive than a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, it is still considered among the least invasive weight loss surgery options (it is less invasive than a duodenal switch procedure.) Nowadays, both VSG and gastric bypass are mostly performed using the laparoscopic technique. This is a less invasive technique compared to an open surgery. The size of incisions in the abdomen is very small, and the healing is much faster compared to a traditional open surgery gastric bypass.
- Gastric Lap Band: Although this is not a completely non-invasive weight loss surgery, it is still minimally invasive. Unlike the laparoscopic gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, the lap band procedure does not involve surgical removal of the stomach tissue. Rather than cutting out a part of the stomach, your surgeon will simply place a gastric band around it to reduce its size. However, it’s crucial to note that this surgery is no longer popular because of its low success rate and lap band complications.
Related: Best weight loss surgery options in 2020
Is minimally invasive weight loss surgery effective?
The effectiveness of a minimally invasive weight loss surgery will vary depending on the choice of procedure. The more invasive the surgery, the more effective it is likely to be. You should evaluate the various least invasive bariatric surgery options and select the most appropriate procedure that suits your requirements.
Weight Loss Results
If you choose an endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty or a gastric balloon procedure, you can expect to lose up to 4o or 50 percent of your excess body weight within a year. However, if you go for the relatively more invasive procedures such as gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, you may lose up to 70 or 80 percent of your excess weight in the first year. Depending on your commitment to diet and exercise, you may achieve permanent freedom from obesity with any minimally invasive weight loss surgery.
Related: Gastric sleeve results: expected weight loss after VSG surgery
Reduction of Co-morbidities
Gastric balloon is a completely non-invasive bariatric surgery, so it may not make a substantial improvement in your obesity-related medical conditions. However, with procedures such as endoscopic sleeve, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass, you can expect complete resolution or at least a significant reduction in the symptoms of your co-morbidities. How diligently you follow your surgeon’s prescribed gastric sleeve diet or gastric bypass diet plan will also make a difference to your disease resolution.
Related: Gastric balloon cost
Who is a candidate for minimally invasive weight loss surgery
While you should know what is the least invasive weight loss surgery you may necessarily be a candidate for it. During your initial consultation, your surgeon will measure your BMI, review your medical history, and evaluate your personal weight loss goals. Based on this assessment, they will determine which of the minimally invasive weight loss surgery options you may qualify for.
- Gastric Balloon: If you are diagnosed with Class 1 obesity (BMI 30 to 35) or Class 2 obesity (BMI 35 to 40), you could be a candidate for a gastric balloon non-invasive weight loss surgery.
- Endoscopic Sleeve: The BMI criterion to qualify for an endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is the same as gastric balloon procedure. If you have co-morbidities, your surgeon may recommend this procedure.
- Single Incision VSG: If your BMI is 40 or above, you could be a candidate for a single incision gastric sleeve surgery. Patients with a preference for minimal gastric sleeve scars are best suited for this procedure.
- Gastric Sleeve Surgery: A BMI for gastric sleeve of 40 or higher or a BMI of 35 or higher with co-morbidities will qualify you for a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. In rare cases, patients with a BMI of 30 or higher may also be candidates.
- Gastric Bypass Surgery: The BMI gastric bypass requirements for this minimally invasive bariatric surgery are similar to that of gastric sleeve. If you suffer from obesity-related diabetes, you could be more suited for gastric bypass surgery.
Related: Gastric sleeve surgery vs gastric bypass surgery
Least invasive weight loss surgery cost
When you ask your surgeon about what is the least invasive bariatric surgery, you should also discuss the estimated cost of each option. Cost is an important starting point, particularly if you do not have insurance coverage for this surgery.
In Mexico, the cost of least invasive weight loss surgery may range from $2,000 to $5,000 on average. In the US or Canada, you may end up paying up to four times the cost in Mexico for the same procedure. Your least invasive weight loss surgery cost in Mexico will include the following:
- Operating surgeon’s fee
- Fee of any other attending doctors and nursing staff
- Anesthesia and IV sedation costs
- Hospital charges for the surgery room
- Overnight stay at the hospital, if necessary
- Costs of pre- and post-surgical diagnostic tests
- Post-op consultation with the nutrition
- Post-op appointment with the surgeon
- Ground transportation to and from the airport
Related: Weight loss surgery cost in Mexico: A comprehensive guide
How to choose the best least invasive weight loss surgery
With so many least invasive weight loss surgery options available today, it can be confusing to make the right choice. To begin with, you should know what is best for some other patient may not necessarily be the best choice for you. Discuss your options closely with your surgeon during the initial consultation and go by their advice. Here are the key criteria you should consider together with your surgeon to make the best decision.
What are Your Weight Loss Goals?
If you are satisfied with losing up to 30 to 50 percent of your excess weight, and you are not suffering from severe or super obesity, you could choose a gastric balloon or endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty. However, if you are aiming to completely eliminate obesity and achieve your ideal body weight, a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass may be the best choice for you.
What are Your Health Goals?
If your general health condition is good, and you do not suffer from co-morbidities related to obesity, you may want to choose a non-invasive weight loss surgery such as gastric balloon or the least invasive bariatric surgery such as an endoscopic sleeve. However, if you are seeking to obtain relief from an obesity-related disease, choose gastric sleeve or gastric bypass.
What are Your Aesthetic Goals?
If you are over-concerned about the subsequent scarring in the abdominal area following your surgery, you may want to prefer a single incision gastric sleeve procedure. Even gastric balloon or an endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty are good options, provided you qualify for those procedures. If mild post-surgical scarring is acceptable, you may select VSG or gastric bypass surgery.
Related: Do I qualify for weight loss surgery?
Recovery after least invasive bariatric surgery
Recovery after least invasive bariatric surgery will vary according to the choice of procedure and your individual health condition. At the time of your pre-op consultation, your weight loss surgeon will discuss the recovery process with you. You should schedule your surgery at a time when you can commit yourself to a focused and stress-free post-operative recovery.
- Gastric Balloon: Recovery will only be a day or two after this non-invasive bariatric surgery because no surgery or general anesthesia is involved in the procedure.
- Endoscopic Sleeve: You can expect to recover in about three to four days after this least invasive weight loss surgery. No external incisions are involved, so the healing is faster.
- Gastric Sleeve: Single incision as well as multi-incision gastric sleeve surgery will require about one week of downtime. From the second week, you can return to your normal routine.
- Gastric Bypass: You may need about 10 days of initial recovery time for this surgery. It involves intestinal changes apart from stomach surgery, so more healing time is necessary.
Minimally invasive vs. non-invasive bariatric surgery
Patients are sometimes confused between minimally invasive bariatric surgery and non-invasive bariatric surgery options. You should know the clear distinctions between the two types of weight loss procedures before you make a final choice.
Here are some of the key differences between these treatments:
- Minimally invasive weight loss surgery will involve minor cuts or incisions in the abdominal area to perform the procedure. Non-invasive weight loss surgery will not involve any cuts or incisions.
- With a minimally invasive bariatric surgery, you can lose up to 70% of your excess body weight in the first year. The non-invasive weight loss surgery may only help you lose up to 40 to 50% of your excess weight.
- Candidates for a minimally invasive weight loss surgery will usually have a higher BMI and may also have co-morbidities. Candidates for a non-invasive bariatric option may only have borderline obesity.
- Mild scarring is unavoidable in case of minimally invasive or least invasive weight loss surgery. In case of a non-invasive bariatric surgery, no external scarring will occur because no cuts are involved.
- The initial healing and recovery time for a minimally invasive bariatric procedure will be more than that for a non-invasive procedure. Potential risks of complications will also be higher.
Jet Medical Tourism® offers least invasive bariatric surgery
Innovations in the field of bariatric surgery have led to the emergence of new and less invasive weight loss procedures. Jet Medical Tourism® provides affordable options for weight loss surgery. Our pre-eminent bariatric surgeons have the expertise to provide a wide range of safe and proven least invasive weight loss surgery options.
They will assess your candidacy for a specific procedure and give you the right medical advice. Since 2017, we have helped patients from all around the world achieve their weight loss goals successfully. Apply Now or get in touch with us today by calling (855) 506-6188 or the contact form.