Sometimes weight gain sneaks up on you, like it did for North Carolina native Anthony Boggs a few years ago. Like many of us, Anthony had a busy schedule that didn’t leave much time for preparing healthy meals or exercising regularly. By the time he reached a peak weight of 269 pounds and began experiencing weight-related health problems, Anthony decided he needed a change. That’s when he discovered True You and the life-changing potential of a state-of-the-art weight loss procedure called endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG).
Overview of Weight Loss Procedures
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all Americans are trying to lose weight at any given time. Despite all the effort, though, over 30% of adults in the U.S. are overweight and over 40% are obese. This collective lack of success can at least partially be attributed to the ineffectiveness of traditional methods of weight loss like dieting and exercise. Bariatric procedures like gastric bypass have been the only other option for many years, yet many patients are either unable or unwilling to take on the risks of surgery.
It is in this context that endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty has emerged as a game-changing alternative to bariatric surgery. While ESG actually uses a similar mechanism to promote weight loss, the most significant difference is in the techniques used to perform the procedures. Since gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy—the two most common surgeries—are performed laparoscopically, they require deep incisions in the abdomen that carry risks of infection, bleeding, or blood clots. Moreover, the recovery time is often a month or longer, during which other complications may arise.
What to Know About Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty
Even though there are many physiological factors at play in the process of gaining weight, the primarily practical concern is overeating. Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty aims to help patients overcome the tendency to overeat through its main mechanism of promoting weight loss: resizing the stomach. By reducing the volume of the stomach, the patient can’t eat as much food in a single sitting. Additionally, the physical restriction of a smaller stomach also alters the hormones involved in the feelings of hunger and satiety; over time, then, the patient is prompted to adjust their eating habits to achieve a calorie deficit.
The procedure itself is considered minimally invasive because it doesn’t require any incisions and it is performed using an endoscope, which is a flexible tube with a camera and special surgical tools mounted on the end. While the patient is under sedation, the scope is inserted through the mouth and down the esophagus. Once inside the stomach, sutures are placed along the greater curvature in order to close off a significant portion of the stomach. When complete, the stomach will have been reformed into a sleeve shape about 20-30% of its original size.
Anthony’s Weight Loss Journey
As a healthcare IT professional with a fiancee and a chihuahua, Anthony’s life was as busy as any American’s. Between working long hours and traveling a lot for his job, Anthony had developed a number of poor eating habits like eating large meals late at night. Then, in 2021, after noticing how heavy he had gotten in photos, he weighed himself and discovered a number he was mortified to see: 269 pounds. But even beyond the number, the weight was clearly starting to affect his health: high blood pressure, a diabetes diagnosis, depression, anxiety, and various sleep problems.
At this point, Anthony knew he needed to make a change, but previous attempts at weight loss through Weight Watchers, the keto diet, Atkins, and a variety of grueling workout routines hadn’t worked. After some research into alternative approaches, he discovered True You and endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty: “I needed an option that offered a quick recovery, mostly because of my demanding work travel schedule,” Anthony says. “My career could never endure a six-to-eight-week recovery period, as the gastric sleeve often requires.”
After his consultation session with project coordinator Tesha, dietitian Paige, and medical director Dr. Christopher McGowan, Anthony’s procedure was booked for March 2022. Because of the efficiency of using endoscopy and the True You team’s extensive experience, the procedure generally takes about 30-45 minutes followed by a brief 1-2 hour recovery time. Anthony experienced some minor stomach cramping the next day, but he was back to work only three days later, feeling great and ready to start losing weight.
Like a lot of patients who go through with the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty procedure, Anthony saw weight start to come off quickly. Before he knew it, he was steadily losing between five and ten pounds per week and was eventually down 70 pounds from his starting weight. Even after his weight loss seemed to stall when he hit 200 pounds, the True You team worked closely with him to help him stay positive and focused on his goals. Today Anthony is down to 175 and his A1C, blood pressure, and heart rate are all back in a normal range; just as importantly, though, he can now walk up a flight of stairs without feeling winded and fit into the stylish outfits he’s always wanted.
Potential Weight Loss With Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty
How much weight you can lose with endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is dependent on numerous factors, but the average results are impressive. “With ESG we generally look at the percentage of total body weight lost. Anything above 10% can have a major impact on overall health and comorbidities. A meta-analysis of ESG studies has shown an average total body weight loss of 17%. At True You, our average is 23.1%,” says Dr. McGowan, founder of True You and triple board-certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and obesity medicine.
Perhaps one of the most encouraging statistics for prospective True You patients is that a full 97% of participants have been able to lose at least 10% and benefit from related health improvements. If someone proceeds with the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty procedure and follows the recommendations for diet and exercise, there is a high likelihood they’ll be able to meet or exceed the average expected weight loss. And while the timeline can differ considerably from person to person, a significant portion of the weight loss will happen in the first 12 months.
How True You Can Help
Anthony’s story is a good reminder that a weight loss journey can’t and shouldn’t be walked alone. To achieve the average amount of weight loss (or more!), patients have to commit to the program and heed the advice of True You’s highly qualified team of dietitians and nutritionists. But committing to the True You program isn’t meant to be a burden; rather, it’s an opportunity to have a group of experts on your side whose whole job is to help you keep taking steps toward freedom.
There are other clinics that offer endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, but few are as experienced as True You. In addition to being the founder and medical director, for instance, Dr. McGowan has also personally performed over 2,000 procedures. True You’s expertise doesn’t stop at the end of the procedure, though; even long after its completion, patients will continue to have access to medical and patient support teams for as long as you need. Also, this support will continue to be available 24/7 via phone, text, email, or video chat.
Contact Us Today
Anthony is just one of hundreds of stories of people finally turning a corner and achieving their weight loss goals with True You. In addition to endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, True You also performs gastric bypass revisions as well as placing gastric balloons. If you’d like more information about True You or alternative weight loss solutions, please contact us today to request a consultation.