Pioneers Healthcare Introduces Non-Invasive Weight Loss Option
By Chris Furguson
Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District debuted their newest service to Imperial County on Friday, December 2, 2016, with their incoming “ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System,” an FDA-approved weight loss method for those with mild to moderate obesity.
Dr. Oscar Lopez, the director of PMHD’s Center for Digestive and Liver Disease, will run the “ReShape” program for the hospital. The program, which will be far less expensive than more invasive procedures like gastric bypass, will begin in the coming weeks.
“I’m very proud to be able to offer this,” said Lopez, who was part of the program’s clinical trials while studying for his degree. Lopez is a board-certified physician in Gastroenterologist, Hepetology and Internal Medicine.
ReShape is designed to provide an option for patients who are between 30 and 40 on the Body Mass Index scale for obesity, which is considered mild to moderate. This new program involves the endoscopic implant of a saline filled dual balloon within the stomach cavity as a form of portion control.
The balloons are installed within the body for six months, followed by six months of post-operative monitoring by Dr. Lopez and a nutritionist. Patients will also be given a FitBit activity monitor that will be checked by Dr. Lopez’s staff.
“They won’t be able to lie to me when they come in for their check-ups,” added Lopez.
According to Lopez, the ReShape program has been more effective than diet and exercise alone in clinical studies.
“During the initial studies, the most weight lost was 72 pounds,” added Lopez, who also said that more recent trials saw weight loss as high as 107. Dr. Lopez emphasized that, like with most weight loss procedures, patient attitude is important.
“If a patient is coming to me with a negative attitude, they need to go somewhere else,” added Lopez. Lopez also added that average weight losses were usually higher for those with the balloon than not.
Obesity is determined by a patient’s “Body Mass Index,” or “BMI” combined with observations by a medical professional. BMI rating is determined via a mathematical formula that involves a patient’s height and weight, while the medical observation determines the nature of the weight. For example, a person who stands 5’5″ (65 inches) tall and weighs 155 pounds will have a BMI of just under 25.
Pioneers Memorial Hospital is affiliated with Scripps Health Network in San Diego, a partnership that officially began in May of this year.