Novel Nonsurgical Endoscopic Approaches for the Treatment of Obesity

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Globally, obesity is a leading cause of preventable death and is associated with >60 comorbid medical conditions, including 10 types of cancer that are strongly associated with body mass index. There are a number of traditional obesity treatments—for example, lifestyle management (eg, decreased caloric intake and increased expenditure), pharmacotherapy, and bariatric surgery. Recently, endoscopic approaches have emerged as a viable alternative for weight loss. Endoscopically placed intragastric balloons were introduced in the early 1980s for the treatment of medically complicated obesity but, unfortunately, had high rates of complications, such as premature deflation leading to obstruction. Despite these shortcomings, these devices have experienced a renewal, with a second generation of improved devices being approved for clinical use in 2015. In addition to the intragastric balloons, there are a number of other endoscopic approaches to weight loss that are either Food and Drug Administration approved or undergoing evaluation (aspiration therapy, duodenal jejunal bypass sleeve). The current review examines the literature available and discusses the practical clinical considerations involved.

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