For patients who are looking for a nonsurgical approach to weight loss to improve their quality of life, there’s now a new option – the FDA-approved Orbera™ Intragastric Balloon. This method, combined with a post-op coaching program, focuses on helping patients develop new lifestyle habits to lose weight and keep it off. It is currently offered at McAllen Heart Hospital and Cornerstone Regional Hospital by the physicians at Valley Care Clinics Weight-Loss Surgery Center.
Luis Reyes, MD, FACS, FASMBS, Medical Director of Bariatrics at McAllen Heart Hospital, is one of the first surgeons in the Rio Grande Valley certified to perform the procedure. He explains that Orbera is a less invasive option for those who need to lose 20-40 pounds and have tried other means of weight loss, such as diet, behavior modification and exercise, but were unsuccessful. According to a six-month clinical trial, the average person lost 3.1 times the weight with Orbera versus diet and exercise alone.
The patient is placed under general anesthesia for the Orbera outpatient procedure, which only takes about 15 minutes. A balloon is placed in the stomach via an endoscope and inflated with saline to the size of a grapefruit. The balloon will remain in a patient’s stomach for about six months. The balloon takes up room in the stomach, promoting a fuller feeling with less food. The one-year coaching part of the program begins after the balloon is inserted, and teaches the patient about portion control, nutrition and exercise. A team of doctors, nurses, nutritionists and a psychologist also monitor the patient’s progress.
To ensure success, follow-up appointments at regular intervals are crucial. “Our team of professionals is there every step of the way. And if medical management is needed for appetite control, we handle that appropriately,” says Dr. Reyes.
Dr. Reyes cautions that Orbera is not for everyone, and success depends upon patient compliance with the program. “Once we remove the balloon, we help the patient sustain a healthy lifestyle,” he says. Orbera is not covered by insurance.
Dr. Reyes says there is so much we still have to learn about helping people lose weight. “It’s not a straight-forward thing. That’s why our practice incorporates as many options as possible for the patient,” he says. “We join medical and surgical management together for the best solution.”
About Our Surgeons
Dr. Reyes and Dr. Garza have performed more than 4,000 surgeries together and guided countless people towards weight-loss success.
The procedures currently offered at Valley Care Clinics Weight-Loss Surgery Center include:
• LAP-BAND® • Gastric bypass
• Orbera™ • Gastric plication
• Revision surgery • OverStitch™
• Medical weight-loss management • Sleeve gastrectomy
Patients are given thorough evaluations to determine the right weight loss method for them. Qualifying for a procedure depends on certain factors such as medical history and weight-loss goals. Compliance is very important to the success and outcome of procedures, and support groups and post-op nutrition classes help patients acclimate to their new lifestyle.
Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if weight-loss surgery is right for you.
Cornerstone Regional Hospital is directly or indirectly owned by a partnership that includes physician owners, including certain members of the hospital medical staff.
Are non-surgical or medical management weight loss methods right for you?
These might be good alternatives if you are 18-65 years old; are at least 20 pounds overweight; your BMI is greater than 27; or if you have tried other weight-loss options, without success.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Valley Care Clinics Weight-Loss Surgery Center at 956-664-1616, or sign up for a free at-home seminar.