Endoscopic treatment of obesity

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Obesity is a worldwide epidemic, complex metabolic disease associated with a variety of severe comorbidities. Bariatric surgery provides the patients with the benefits of sustained weight loss and improves obesity-related comorbidities, but can result in potentially life-threatening complications. Gastrointestinal endoscopy has recently been proposed as a scarless and noninvasive approach to obesity. Most of the current endoluminal devices and techniques are comparable to restrictive surgery. A variety of medical devices and procedures have been evaluated in recent years; however, with the exception of the intragastric balloon, evaluation of all the other endoluminal procedures is limited by the numbers of patients treated, the short follow-up and especially by the study design. Today, only a few devices have been evaluated in randomized controlled trials. The preliminary results of the first studies are extremely promising, but definitive statements cannot be drawn yet.

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