Whether you’re still carrying stubborn pounds from a pregnancy, or you’ve struggled with your weight for years and can’t recall the last time you felt good about your body, it’s time to let it go; to look and feel your very best. What if there was a non-invasive, non-permanent procedure that nearly guaranteed you could peel off the pounds to create a whole new you in the new year?
Enter Orbera, a revolutionary and simple weight loss procedure that takes just 20 minutes from start to finish. Talk about near-instant gratification. Just imagine, a weight loss treatment with real results that could change your life in less than an hour! Southern Surgical Arts’ Dr. Justin Gusching and Dr. Vincent Gardner perform the procedure for the practice. “This is a great solution for people wanting to lose 20-75 pounds who want a jumpstart to that process – particularly those who have tried and tried to lose those stubborn 20 or 50 pounds and just can’t,” Dr. Gusching explains.
Here’s how it works: Patients are sedated and a diagnostic endoscopy (which entails threading a scope down through the esophagus into the stomach) is performed to ensure that it’s safe to proceed. Any presence of ulcers, gastritis or hiatal hernias would disqualify you, as could severe or untreated heartburn, or a history of ulcers. An excessively high Body Mass Index or BMI can also knock you out of contention. Once you’re given the greenlight, a small balloon that’s already been attached to the scope is then placed into your stomach and filled with saline solution, much like the saline solution used in breast implants. The scope is removed and the whole process, from start to finish, is completed in 20 minutes or less. That’s it.
“It was so simple, I was in and out so fast,” says one of his patients who asked to remain anonymous for this article but said she wanted to share her story and her patient experience with both Dr. Gusching and the SSA staff. “They’re so great about talking to you, answering any questions you might have, and so patient and professional. They’re just great patient care providers,” she says.
Once the Orbera balloon is implanted, it remains in your stomach for six months. The whole time it’s taking up space, which helps with portion control by reducing the amount of food you can eat and slows digestion allowing you to feel full longer. Dr. Gusching says most patients see the most dramatic weight loss results in the first one to three months. “Part of the reason for the drastic weight loss is due to your body adjusting to the new normal of having to process food in a completely new way, so you can only take in liquids the first week, smoothies and soft foods the next week or so, but by three-four weeks’ time you’re eating regular food again,” he explains. Follow-up visits with Dr. Gusching are typically scheduled two days and then four days afterward; then again three months later and finally at the six-month mark to schedule the removal.
As you lose weight, you’ll be focused on developing healthy lifestyle habits to maximize the effects of Orbera. Dr. Gusching says attitude is everything, along with the right mindset. “Those are the best patients, the ones motivated to lose weight and willing to make necessary changes in their lifestyle.” His patient agrees. “If you do what you’re supposed to do, you’re going to have success. I’ve gone from a size 14 to a size 10 in just over six weeks. I’ll increase my exercise as I go, but for now I’m doing long walks, generally three miles Monday through Friday. I just did an eight mile hike up Lookout Mountain and felt great,” says the patient who has struggled with her weight for years and has a goal to lose 50lbs total. A support system is key to help motivate you on your journey. You can opt for the Orbera Coach tool (for an additional fee) which provides on-going access to a virtual support team of nutritionists and dieticians via phone or tablet for one year following your procedure.
After six months of healthy habits under your belt, the Orbera balloon is removed through the same method it was inserted, but this time the saline solution is first sucked out of the balloon and then removed, again in about 20 minutes. You’ll have check-ins with Dr. Gusching as needed and continue following your personalized diet and exercise plan for another six months. The total cost of the procedure is typically $7,500 - $ 8,000. Gusching says it’s every bit as safe as a routine colonoscopy screening would be, and ideal for those wanting to kickstart major weight loss. Yet it’s also very effective for patients who need help losing as little as 25 lbs. and don’t need or want permanent – not to mention much riskier – gastric bypass surgery. While there can be pain and sometimes nausea in the first couple of days, Dr. Gusching’s patients say it’s totally worth it. “Would I do it again? Yeah, in a heartbeat! I was completely back to my normal activities just a few days later. And as far as the money goes, I think it makes you pretty invested in your success, otherwise you’re burning your money. If you do what you’re supposed to, you’ll set yourself up for success and learn healthy habits, how to do things the right way and how to keep it that way for the long run,” she says.
Dr. Gusching believes the procedure is helpful for those looking not only to lose weight but also redefine and sculpt their bodies with tummy tuck surgery. “For most tummy tuck patients, they’re going to get better results if they lose weight prior. The more weight they lose, the better their results will be. Or sometimes a patient can’t have a tummy tuck because of their weight or BMI, but then they do the Orbera process, lose weight, and they can be cleared for the surgery.” If you’re ready to shed those last few pounds and start 2019 with a sense of confidence inside and out, Orbera might just be the perfect solution. For a complimentary consultation to find out more about Orbera and how it might work for you, call Southern Surgical Arts today at 423-266-3331 or 706-629-8622