Laurie Busa was looking for a new and more successful way to lose weight. As a cardiovascular technologist at Winchester Hospital, she conducts stress tests to measure heart function -; and hoped to serve as a better example of good health for her patients.
"It was always easy for me to shed 25 pounds," Laurie says. "I did it over and over, then I'd gain back 35."
Like many who struggle with obesity, Laurie's weight led to other health concerns, including high blood pressure. So she set a goal: lose enough weight to reduce her dependence on blood pressure medication. To do so, she'd need to lose 60 pounds and keep it off. But she soon learned she would not have to conquer this challenge alone. A new approach to weight loss
"When we first met Laurie, she had energy and enthusiasm and a real commitment to success," says Jonah Cohen, MD, a gastroenterologist and Director of the Center for Bariatric Endoscopy at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).
The Center performs endoscopic procedures for weight loss that are less invasive than traditional weight loss surgery, requiring no incisions leading to faster recovery.
Cohen's program is one of the first in New England to perform a procedure known as endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG). Also known as the "accordion" procedure, ESG uses an endoscope, a small flexible tube with a camera and suturing device attached, to enter the stomach through the mouth. This device allows the doctor to see and operate inside the stomach without any incisions. The doctor sutures the stomach to reduce its shape, which restricts the amount of food it takes to feel full.
"Endoscopy has come a long way in recent years," Cohen says. "For most patients, ESG is an outpatient procedure. For patients to be able to go home the same day after such a life-changing procedure speaks to how far medicine has come."
After the procedure, most patients return to work within several days, and follow a liquid diet for four weeks. ESG typically results in 15 to 20 percent total weight loss, and may also help treat serious weight-related conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis.
After spending years losing and gaining weight, Busa was encouraged by the potential for keeping the weight off after the procedure. Related Stories
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