Endoscopic treatment of obesity

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Purpose of review

Obesity and its comorbid illnesses affect millions worldwide and are one of the major causes of preventable death in the world. Bariatric surgery is currently offered to individuals with a BMI greater than 40 kg/m2 or greater than 35 kg/m2 with obesity-related comorbidities such as hypertension or diabetes. Endoscopic bariatric therapies, with their reduced invasiveness and potential reversibility, may complement surgical approaches for achieving weight loss.

Recent findings

At the time of this writing, two endoscopically placed intragastric balloons and an endoscopically placed aspiration tube have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for weight loss purposes. Some devices employ a suturing platform to create plications or to appose two surfaces. Other endoscopic strategies under investigation to treat obesity-related comorbidities such as diabetes include duodenal mucosal resurfacing and creation of a partial jejunoileal diversion using self-assembling magnets.


Current endoscopic methods for the treatment of obesity utilize various mechanisms, including occupying gastric volume, reducing gastric capacity, altering caloric absorption, or aspirating gastric contents. The long-term outcomes and cost-effectiveness of these strategies remain to be fully elucidated. The landscape of endoscopic bariatric therapies continues to evolve.

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