Many recent statistics claim that obesity and obesity related health problems are on a steady rise. There are people who adopt a healthy lifestyle and monitor their diet to prevent further health risks, however, some aren’t so lucky. Bariatric surgery has proved to be an effective method to battle these issues, but a major surgery such as this comes with its own set of complications.
Gastric Balloon, or weight loss balloon is a new treatment option that has produced stellar results. It is a flexible, balloon shaped device that takes up room in your stomach to reduce appetite making you feel full with small meals. This can be accounted for by the testimonials of several people who have found that their attempts at losing weight were successful after undergoing this procedure combined with eating well and exercising.
Of the several gastric balloons available in the US (FDA approved), Orbera and Obalon are two of the most commonly sought options.
Orbera balloon is made of soft inflatable silicone which is filled with saline solution once it’s placed in the stomach. To get this treatment, the patient is sedated for utmost comfort. The doctor then inserts the balloon via an endoscope, which goes in through the oesophagus. The procedure lasts for about 30 minutes and is extremely safe. Patients can go home and resume normal activities the same day.
Orbera works by decreasing the amount of food your stomach can hold, so you feel full quicker and seamlessly adjust to smaller portion sizes. This balloon stays in your stomach for six months. During removal, the same procedure is used. Once sedated, the doctor removes the device using an endoscope.
During the course of this treatment, it is vital that you enrol in a post-operative care program and work with your support team and fitness coaches. The entire program is distributed through a year from placement to post-removal, during which you will establish healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
In a clinical study (Springer link, 2013), it was observed that patients lost twice as much weight with the Obalon balloon as they did with diet and exercise alone. FDA-approved in 2016, Obalon comprises of a three-balloon system where each balloon is in a capsule form that is roughly the size of a large grape.
Obalon entails three office visits. First visit involves swallowing the first balloon. The second visit occurs a month later to swallow the second balloon, and the final visit is two months post your second visit to swallow the last balloon. Again, patients can go home shortly and return to normal activities typically immediately.
However, some people face difficulty swallowing the pill, and therefore are not good candidates for the Obalon system. As with Orbera balloon, Obalon takes up space in your stomach, helping you to feel full as you adjust your portion sizes. It is generally reported that results with the Obalon system may not be as impressive as those with the largest Orbera balloon, simply because the Orbera balloon takes up more space in your stomach.
Similar to Orbera, you will undergo an outpatient procedure in six months, in which the doctor uses an endoscope to remove all three balloons. A mild sedative is administered just before this procedure for maximising comfort.
The table shown below briefly highlights the differences between the two options.
In the months that follow the placement of your balloon, you will receive ongoing diet and exercise counselling. This counselling will keep you motivated, provide you with guidance and help you work through any barriers so you can accomplish your weight loss goals.
If you are interested in pursuing the gastric balloon treatment, you can schedule a complimentary consultation at the Weight Loss Surgery Centre Of Los Angeles by Dr. David G. Davtyan who is one of the top surgeons for Gastric Balloon in Los Angeles. Reach out to us if you have any questions about any of our treatments.
(2013, May). Retrieved October 2019, from Springer link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11695-013-0927-x.
Posted on behalf of Dr. David G. Davtyan MD, FACS, FICS