Weight-loss operation that cuts patient's stomach size by two-thirds

Weight-loss operation you can have in 90 minutes which slashes the size of a patient’s stomach by two-thirds is recommended for introduction on the NHS

  • Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) takes doctors just 90 minutes to perform
  • Patients will be able to leave hospitals on the same day as their procedure 
  • The ‘accordion procedure’ has been recommended for introduction to the NHS 

A weight loss procedure that slashes the size of a patient’s stomach by two-thirds without the need for major surgery has been recommended for introduction on the NHS.

Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG), which is known as an ‘accordion procedure’, takes just 90 minutes with patients able to leave hospital later the same day.

In draft guidance, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said ESG should be offered to patients with a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or more who have not lost weight through lifestyle changes. 

Weight-loss surgery, such as gastric bands or bypasses, is an option for those with a BMI of 40 or more, or for patients with a BMI of over 35 with other conditions such as Type 2 diabetes.

But unlike these, ESG is potentially reversible as it doesn’t involve cutting the stomach.

Obesity costs the NHS around £6.5billion per year and is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer (File Photo)

Carried out under general anaesthetic, a surgeon guides a flexible tube containing a camera and medical instruments through the patient’s mouth and into the stomach.

Sections of the stomach wall are folded and stitched together to reduce its size to create a tube-like sleeve, reducing the amount of food that people can consume and making them feel fuller sooner.

Clinical trials found 77 per cent of participants lost a quarter or more of their original weight a year after having the procedure.

Professor Jonathan Benger, chief medical officer at Nice, said: ‘One of the benefits is that this procedure can be carried out as a day case, and not involve an overnight stay, reducing the time people spend in hospital compared with other surgical options. Recovery is also quicker.’

Nice found that it was a ‘safe and effective’ procedure and had cost benefits through the potential gains of helping patients to avoid other diseases. 

Obesity costs the NHS around £6.5billion per year and is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer. 

Some 25.9 per cent of adults in England are obese, with a further 37.9 per cent overweight.

Professor Benger said that surgical treatment options are in high demand and ‘not everyone wants, or is fit enough’ to undergo an operation such as weight-loss surgery.

A consultation on the ESG procedure is open until October 26. It is the latest move by Nice to help tackle obesity. Earlier this year, the weight loss jab Wegovy was given the green light for about 50,000 NHS patients.

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