AGA issues new guidelines on intragastric balloon use
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The American Gastroenterological Association published new clinical practice guidelines on the use of intragastric balloons in obesity management.

“Endoscopic bariatric therapies have evolved as an attractive tool for weight loss, however, less than 5% of patients with obesity seeking a weight loss therapy are aware of endoscopic weight loss options,” researchers said. “Our hope is that this new guideline can lead to shared decision making between patients and providers to determine if intragastric balloons (IGB) are the best weight loss option for that individual patient.”

Key guidelines include:

-- IGB therapy with lifestyle modification is recommended over lifestyle modification alone

Across clinical outcomes focused on weight loss, improving metabolic parameter/medical comorbidities and safety, guideline authors found IGBs performed better than standard of care alone for weight loss.

Pooled data from randomized controlled trials (RCT) showed IGBs led to an average weight loss of 15.46 lbs at 6-months, an average weight loss of 13.12 lbs at 9-months and an average weight loss of 9.76 lbs at 12-months. Similarly, compared with standard of care alone, researchers saw a mean difference of 6.89% (95% CI, 4.09%-9.7%) total body weight loss between the groups at 6-months and 8-months.

“Patients who use an IGB for weight loss therapy attain greater weight loss across several parameters than standard of care/lifestyle modification therapy over a 6- to 12-month time frame,” the authors wrote.

-- Proton pump inhibitors may minimize GI bleeding risk

While there is an absence of RCTs assessing the direct outcomes of PPIs in patients with IGB, guideline authors found indirect evidence suggests PPI use reduces the risk for re-bleeding in patients with high-risk bleeding stigmata in the upper GI tract. Additionally, analyzed RCTs yielded lower device/non-procedure-related adverse events in patients receiving both IGB therapy and PPI therapy.

Authors recommend using the lowest dose, frequency and duration of PPIs to decrease overall risk in the short-term and long-term.

-- Further research on use of anesthetics associated with low incidence of nausea and anti-nausea medication required

Authors suggest the use of intraoperative anesthetics associated with a low incidence of nausea in conjunction with perioperative antiemetics during IGB placement. For 2-weeks following placement, they further suggest a scheduled anti-nausea medication regimen.

The choice of regimen is to be determined based on institutional policy, clinical context and availability; further research is required to determine a specific antiemetic regimen.

-- Daily multivitamin supplementation after IGB placement also recommended

Though there is little evidence available supporting prophylactic dosing of multivitamin supplements post-IGB, authors suggest a regimen of one to two adult dose multivitamins daily to avoid thiamine, folate, magnesium and potassium deficiencies. Among studies reporting preoperative thiamine deficiency, prophylactic dosing of one to three multivitamins per day resulted in a decreased prevalence of deficiency from 0%-29% to 0%-9%.

-- Maintenance strategies determined by joint-decision following IGB removal

Weight-loss maintenance strategies may include dietary interventions, pharmacotherapy, subsequent IGB or bariatric surgery. Authors say open discussion with patients regarding the risks, benefits and alternatives of weight-loss management is required.

“Shared decision making is a critical component of obesity therapy — for everything from selecting the right IGB device to what concomitant lifestyle modifications, pharmacotherapy or sequential procedures a patient should pursue,” researchers added. “This shared decision making should consider the patient’s values and preferences, balance benefits and harms within the patient’s clinical and behavioral context and consider cost and availability.”