If you’re struggling with obesity and losing weight, you’re not alone. Affecting a large part of society, obesity is a disease that can seriously impact your health – both mental and physical. Not being able to lose weight despite diet changes or regular exercise can be frustrating. When being overweight poses a serious health risk, there are medical procedures that can help you live a healthier life. These procedures are called bariatric or weight-loss procedures, and they differ from one another in many ways.
In this article, we are going to compare two of the most popular and advanced procedures: Apollo OverStitch and gastric sleeve surgery. These two procedures are fundamentally different in the way they are performed, what recovery looks like, and what prerequisites patients should satisfy in order to be eligible.
Both procedures have helped many patients lose excess weight and both can have incredible benefits in the long run. Just like any weight-loss treatment, it is crucial that the patient is committed and willing to stick to the dietary and exercise plans provided. You will not be alone: our doctors and coordinators will be with you before, during, and after the procedure, and will keep tabs on your recovery once you get home.
What is an Apollo OverStitch?
An Apollo OverStitch, also known as endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG), is a weight-loss, endoscopic, non-surgical procedure that involves reducing the size of your stomach to limit food intake.
The procedure borrows its name from an innovative suturing technology called OverStitch™ Endoscopic Suturing System by producer Apollo Endosurgery. This is why, in short, this endoscopic procedure is also known as the Apollo OverStitch. Our bariatric surgeons at KCM Clinic utilise this technology.
How does an Apollo OverStitch procedure work?
Unlike other bariatric procedures, including the gastric sleeve, the Apollo OverStitch doesn’t require any incisions. The procedure is performed using an endoscope that is inserted through your mouth.
Apollo OverStitch is performed under general anaesthesia. The doctor will insert an endoscope through your mouth. Once it has reached your stomach, with the help of a suturing device and a tiny camera, the doctor will stitch parts of your stomach together by creating triangular patterns with non-absorbable sutures. This way, your stomach will become smaller, around one third of its size. Once stitching is complete, the endoscope is removed. You will be able to go back home within 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. The procedure lasts around 1-2 hours.
Gastric sleeve (or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy)
What is a gastric sleeve?
During a gastric sleeve, the surgeon removes a part of your stomach to reduce its size and limit food intake.
Gastric sleeve: How does it work?
Gastric sleeve, or sleeve gastrectomy, is performed laparoscopically and under general anaesthesia. In order to access your stomach, the surgeon will create a few small incisions in your abdominal wall. Carbon dioxide gas may be used to fill your abdomen to make more space between the organs and have better access. Then, the surgeon will insert specific surgical instruments and cut a part of the stomach so that it sizes down to a sleeve-like shape. During a gastric sleeve, two thirds of the stomach are removed. Once surgery is finished, instruments are removed and incisions closed. The procedure lasts around 2 hours.
How do Apollo OverStitch and gastric sleeve surgery differ?
Who is the treatment for
One of the main differences between Apollo OverStitch and gastric sleeve surgery is patient eligibility. Generally speaking, bariatric surgery is recommended to individuals who have a BMI higher than 40 (or higher than 35 if there are other conditions related to obesity). This applies also to gastric sleeve surgery.
On the other hand, the Apollo OverStitch procedure is recommended to individuals who have a BMI higher than 27. This means that the Apollo OverStitch is suitable for individuals who are at obesity stage I.
The Apollo OverStitch is often recommended as an alternative to the gastric balloon or to patients with a higher BMI who need to lose some weight before undergoing weight-loss surgery.
How the stomach is treated
Both procedures aim to make your stomach smaller but they use two different approaches to treat the stomach.
During a gastric sleeve, a part of the stomach is removed and the stomach is then stitched together and closed. This procedure is irreversible.
The Apollo OverStitch, on the contrary, involves stitching parts of the stomach together from the inside, so no parts of the stomach are removed. For this reason, an Apollo OverStitch is reversible: stitches can be removed so that the stomach can go back to its original size.
Different types of procedures: Laparoscopy vs endoscopy
Laparoscopy (used to perform gastric sleeve surgery) and endoscopy (used to perform the Apollo OverStitch) are two completely different techniques.
During a laparoscopy, the surgeon makes a few small incisions in your abdomen: these incisions will be the access points to your stomach. The surgeon uses a laparoscope – a camera placed on a surgical instrument – to view the organs in your abdomen and perform surgery.
Endoscopy is a less invasive procedure as it requires no incisions on the skin. Recovery is therefore faster. During an endoscopy, the doctor inserts an endoscope (a surgical tool with a tiny camera) into your mouth until it reaches your stomach. Here, with the help of a suturing device, the doctor carries out the procedure.
Treatment duration and recovery
On average, gastric sleeve surgery lasts longer. This procedure requires a couple of steps more, including creating the incisions for the laparoscopy and administering gas in the abdominal cavity.
The Apollo OverStitch is performed endoscopically and no incisions are made; this means that recovery is typically faster. Patients can typically leave our clinic on the same day or the next day. Patients who underwent gastric sleeve surgery should stay at the clinic for about 3 days.