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ReShape: A Weight-Loss Option Without Surgery

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults are obese. Many have tried traditional weight-loss methods and are frustrated with the lack of results. They may be looking for a better solution, but don’t qualify for or want bariatric surgery.   

An FDA-approved, non-surgical weight-loss procedure, a stomach balloon known as ReShape, is a new option for those who don’t want to undergo bariatric surgery or don’t qualify (body mass index less than 35), but are still seeking a weight-loss option, perhaps due to obesity-related health issues, such as diabetes or heart disease.

The ReShape device consists of two connected saline-filled balloons made of medical-grade silicone. During an outpatient procedure, the balloons are inserted into a patient’s stomach and inflated to make less space for food. The space-occupying balloons promote a feeling of fullness, and produce hormonal changes that curb feelings of hunger.    

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The ReShape balloons take up space in your stomach, helping you eat less and feel full longer.

Life-changing weight loss, without surgery

“Unlike conventional bariatric surgery, the ReShape procedure doesn’t involve cutting, splitting of muscles, suturing, or scarring. A patient can go home the same day of the procedure, and can resume their normal activities whenever they feel comfortable,” says Scott Shikora, MD, FACS, Director, Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).

The ReShape procedure is roughly 20 minutes, and takes place in a medical setting under light anesthesia. The procedure is painless, though some patients experience nausea after the procedure as their stomach accommodates the balloons.

The ReShape balloons remain in the stomach for six months. Afterward, the balloons are deflated and removed through another brief endoscopic outpatient procedure.

Support and coaching through the aftercare program

After removal of the ReShape balloons, patients continue to pursue their weight-loss goals as part of the aftercare program that involves visits with dietitians and weight-loss experts at the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.   

For one year, patients also have access to the ReShape Patient Portal, a comprehensive website and iPhone app that helps track weight-loss goals. The portal provides weight and food logging, goal setting, community forums, and a platform to share data with doctors.  

“The aftercare program helps individuals maintain their weight loss by providing reinforcement, resources and education. We can review a patient’s diet, optimize caloric intake, and help incorporate exercise into people’s lives,” says Dr. Shikora.  

An option for overweight individuals with short-term weight-loss goals

The ReShape procedure may also be appropriate for individuals with short-term weight-loss goals, such as women who might be struggling to lose weight in order to improve their fertility.

“Another example might be a patient who needs to lose perhaps 30-40 pounds in order to qualify for hernia surgery, or a kidney transplant. If they can’t lose the weight through diet and exercise, they might opt for the ReShape procedure to achieve a short-term weight-loss goal,” says Dr. Shikora.

How much weight can you expect to lose?

“Weight losses vary, but in a six-month time period, we generally expect most patients to lose about 25 to 35 percent of excess weight, which is about 15 to 25 percent of total weight,” says Dr. Shikora.     

He adds that highly motivated patients who incorporate physical activity and dietary changes into their lives experience the most significant weight loss.    

The health benefits of significant weight-loss

Research shows that significant weight-loss can improve a variety of obesity-related health conditions, including heart disease, depression, asthma, infertility (in women), osteoarthritis, and gout.  

Dramatic weight loss has also been proven to be effective at treating metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty liver disease, and obstructive sleep apnea.  

“Many studies have clearly shown that significant weight loss among obese individuals can improve their chances of living longer and having a better quality of life,” says Dr. Shikora.

If you are interested in learning more about the ReShape procedure or scheduling an appointment, please contact our Patient Coordinator at 617-732-6960. 

By Dustin G. 

In this video, Scott Shikora, MD, Director of the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at BWH, discusses the ReShape intragastric balloon, a non-surgical weight-loss procedure for patients who do not meet the requirements for bariatric (or weight-loss) surgery, or may be looking for a different option.