Obesity is a burgeoning problem in China with potential for significant adverse economic and health consequences if not addressed. Unfortunately, the body mass index (BMI) targets used in the West are not applicable to China as Asians have visceral adiposity and thus develop complications of obesity at a lower BMI. Recent studies suggest using lower BMI targets for defining overweight and obesity and to qualify patients for bariatric surgery. Diet, exercise and pharmacology have been the foundation for treatment in those not meeting criteria for bariatric surgery, despite modest weight loss that is poorly sustained over time. The large majority in China are averse to bariatric surgery and thus endoscopic bariatric therapy is emerging as an illustrious remedy to fill this gap. Of the current procedures available endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty has shown the most promise due to the significant and sustained weight loss it produces coupled with the ease of execution and lower cost. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia using a full-thickness endoscopic suturing device and patients are discharged the same day. The mean procedure time in experienced hands is 60 minutes. Due to the repetitive nature of the procedure, the learning curve is steep. Data thus far demonstrate total body weight loss to be 16–20% at 12 months. The safety profile is excellent with a low morbidity rate seen in the 3 000 procedures performed worldwide. Therefore, widespread dissemination in China is expected with the potential to help millions of obese patients.
- endoscopic bariatric therapy
- endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty
- weight loss
ASJC Scopus subject areas