Due to the obesity epidemic, weight loss surgery is becoming a more popular option among the most seriously ill who face complications as a result of their excessive weight. And while surgery was once thought of as an extreme measure that caused major side-effects, it is now becoming safer and easier thanks to new procedures and technologies that are continuously being developed.

One form of surgery that is growing in popularity is the gastric sleeve plication. Here's what you need to know:

Gastric sleeve plication is minimally invasive. While other methods of weight loss surgery involve incisions, removal of sections of the stomach and other more invasive procedures, and the insertion of foreign objects into the abdominal cavity, gastric sleeve plication involves laparoscopy, which includes only very slight incisions. In fact, the entire process typically takes under an hour to complete.

There is a quicker recovery time. Because this procedure does not involve cutting the patient open, removing any sections of organs or inserting foreign objects, many patients can be discharged 24 hours after the procedure is completed.

Mal-absorption is not a problem. Because the stomach has been left virtually intact, vitamins and nutrients are absorbed in much the same way as they always were. Other types of weight loss surgery leave the patient taking vitamins and supplements on a daily basis due to the changes in digestion which their body now contends with.

Fewer complications. Other weight loss surgeries can involve different complications stemming from the procedure. Gastric sleeve plication involves none of the methods of other surgery and therefore runs reduced risks.

There are very limited long-term studies. As tempting as this surgery may sound, it's important to remember that studies have yet to prove the long-term effects of this new procedure, unlike with gastric sleeve surgery. Whether or not it's successful in the long run is still up in the air.

If you're considering an alternative to typical weight loss surgery procedures, gastric sleeve plication may be the solution you've been looking for.