On social media, weight loss is most often presented as an aesthetic choice like wearing the right clothes or putting on makeup. For many people though, weight loss is more about living a healthier life and being there for the people we love. That was the motivation for Hillary Liles, mother, wife, and busy career counselor. Wanting to no longer be “a sideline mom,” Hillary decided to make a change. That’s when she discovered True You Weight Loss and a life-changing weight loss procedure: endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG).
How Does Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty Work?
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is an endobariatric weight loss procedure that uses similar techniques as a type of bariatric surgery called sleeve gastrectomy. In fact, bariatric surgery has traditionally been considered the most effective way to lose weight, especially for people who have severe obesity. The challenge is, though, that sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass and other similar options require surgery; this means full anesthesia and incisions and a lengthy recovery time, but it also means taking on the risk of a series of potential side effects and complications.
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, by contrast, is a non-surgical procedure that doesn’t require the kind of incisions involved in a laparoscopic surgery. Instead, the whole procedure is done with an endoscope inserted through the mouth and down the esophagus. With special tools mounted on the end of the endoscope, the doctor places sutures in the lining of the stomach from inside; the ultimate goal is to reduce the volume of the stomach by reforming it into a banana-shaped sleeve. After the sutures are in place, the stomach will be only about 20-25% of its normal size.
Like with sleeve gastrectomy, the reduction in stomach volume limits the amount of food that can be ingested in one sitting. This forces a change in eating behavior since the patient can’t eat as much as they used to. These changes to the digestive system can result in new patterns and habits that promote a calorie deficit; over time, that calorie deficit causes the body to switch to burning fat to meet its energy needs and the person will start losing excess weight.
Hillary’s Weight Loss Journey
In the years after her son was born, Hillary found that her weight was becoming more than just a nuisance: “I was up to 250 pounds and would tire easily. My main motivation for losing weight was my son … I didn’t want to be an inactive, sideline mom anymore.” After doing some online research, Hillary came across a True You video about the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty procedure. Seeing that ESG was a solution that seemed to be a compromise between dieting and weight loss surgery, she decided to contact True You.
The next month, in August 2020, Hillary went ahead with the procedure at True You’s office in North Carolina. “Her procedure was about 45 minutes long and this is non-surgical. And because of that, the recovery is vastly different than a true bariatric surgery. She was back in action within a couple days,” said Dr. Christopher McGowan, founder and CEO of True You. Other than a few gas pains, Hillary felt no ill effects; and even those pains were easily mitigated by some stretches shown to her by a nurse. Once back at home and armed with diet and exercise recommendations, Hillary was ready to start losing weight.
By mid-September, Hillary had already lost 30 pounds and she was feeling great. One day, in part because of how much weight she had lost, she noticed a lump on her neck. After a series of tests, it became clear she had stage 1 thyroid cancer and her thyroid had to be removed. Today Hillary is healthy and has a good prognosis, and she’s excited to keep losing weight. For her, the decision to move forward with the ESG procedure was life-changing on multiple levels: it has led to significant weight loss and helped her identify cancer at an early stage. Her story was even inspiring enough to be featured on local news.
How Much Weight Can You Lose With Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty?
Even after her thyroid surgery, Hillary’s weight loss journey continued full speed ahead and by July 2021, she had lost over 100 pounds. Yet beyond having a whole new experience when looking in the mirror, Hillary also found a variety of other upsides. For instance, she was able to work in the yard without feeling out of breath and participate in activities with her husband and son. Another unexpected benefit was a radical improvement in her sleep apnea; after losing the weight, she’s been able to sleep better at night and feel more rested during the day.
Hillary’s story is just one of many, however; the kind of weight loss she was able to realize is accessible to almost anyone through endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty. ESG is the most effective non-surgical weight loss option available, and our patients have been able to lose an average of 23.1% of total body weight by the end of the first year; that’s compared to a collective average of only 16.5% at other weight loss centers. Moreover, according to Dr. McGowan, “we are proud of the fact that we have a 97% success rate, meaning 97% of our patients have lost a minimum of 10% body weight, which is a key clinical threshold.”
Why True You Weight Loss
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty represents an exciting new realm for the weight loss industry, but the procedure is technically challenging and requires the endobariatric surgeon to have a high level of skill. At True You, our staff is one of the most experienced and skilled anywhere in the country. Dr. McGowan, who is triple board-certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and obesity medicine, has performed more than 2,000 ESG procedures himself and regularly trains other doctors in endobariatric techniques. True You’s Atlanta office also features two additional triple-board-certified physicians, Dr. Daniel Maselli and Dr. Lauren Donnangelo.
Yet more than just skill and expertise, though, True You offers a partnership for a long-term weight loss journey. Unlike most clinics that treat weight loss procedures like one-time transactions, the team at True You is with you for the long haul and will offer support and guidance all along the way. Indeed, according to Hillary, Dr. McGowan and the rest of the True You team are “like family” and helped her achieve a kind of freedom in her life that had always been elusive.
Start Your Journey Today
The reality is that fad diets and punishing exercise routines just don’t work in terms of long-term success. Many people try dieting, but it either doesn’t really work or they gain back any weight lost within weeks or months. At True You Weight Loss, we want to help you break that cycle and find the freedom you’ve been looking for. If you’d like to learn more about ESG or any of our other state-of-the-art non-surgical procedures, please contact us today to request a consultation. Freedom is waiting.