Something new in the treatment and prevention of obesity? Intragastric Balloons
The FDA has approved two new devices for weight loss. The devices are known as the Orbera and Reshape Dual Balloon or the intragastric balloons.
Balloons? Weight Loss? …Yes!
A soft, silicone balloon(s) is placed into the stomach endoscopically and then filled with sterile saline. Basically, the balloon takes up space, and you can’t eat as much food.
Endoscopy is something that is done commonly to evaluate the inside of the stomach. A small, thin tube with a camera (endoscope) on the end is placed into the mouth and down the esophagus into the stomach. Once the stomach is evaluated, the endoscope is pulled out, and the balloon is passed down into the stomach. The endoscope is passed again to check the position of the balloon, and then the balloon is inflated with sterile saline.
The balloon can only stay in the stomach for 6 months. After that, there is a risk of infection so it is important to get the balloon out by 6 months. During those six months, you are on a supervised diet, with scheduled meetings with a dietitian. The nutritional care is for a year with insertion of the balloon, so this will continue for the six months after the balloon is removed. Patients can expect to see an average of 30% of excess weight loss tho results can vary.
By staying on a healthy eating pattern and exercising (because the balloon won’t stop you from exercising), you can expect to keep the weight off for some time.
There is some nausea when the balloon is initially placed, and with medication, this nausea resolves. Then the stomach and you get used to the balloon, and continue on the journey of weight loss.
The FDA has approved the balloon for BMI 30-40. Make an appointment to discuss the balloon even if you feel you may be outside of this BMI range.