Reaching a Healthy BMI
Along with diet and exercise adjustments, this progressive weight-loss tool is helping patients reach healthy BMIs.
What is the Obalon Balloon System?
The Obalon Balloon System is a non-surgical treatment option for individuals struggling with obesity. Over the course of three months, three lightweight balloons are placed in the patient’s stomach, occupying space so that he or she eats less and can therefore lose weight more easily. Six months after the first balloon is placed, all three are removed.
The three-part system is recommended for adults ages 22 and up, who have a BMI between 30 and 40. Those considering the procedure must also be willing to commit to a professionally supervised diet and exercise program throughout the process in order to learn how to maintain weight loss following the removal of the balloons.
What to Expect from the Procedure
After a thorough medical history has been completed and a patient has been approved for the procedure, the first balloon placement appointment will be scheduled. At that appointment, he or she will swallow a vitamin-sized capsule that contains a deflated balloon inside and is attached to a micro-catheter. Following an x-ray to confirm the capsule is safely in the stomach, the balloon is inflated with gas through the catheter. The catheter is then removed, and the procedure is completed. Approximately two weeks later, the process is repeated, meaning the patient will have two balloons occupying space in the stomach. Two weeks after the placement of the second balloon, the process is repeated for a third and final time. At the end of the six-month treatment period, the balloons are removed in a short outpatient endoscopic procedure.
Benefits to Patients
Because it is an outpatient, non-surgical treatment option, the Obalon Balloon System requires almost no downtime following a balloon placement. Instead, patients can return to activity immediately. Also, because the balloons are placed gradually over three months, patient tolerability is maximized. With this progressive method, patients lose weight at a more reasonable rate, which in turn, helps them keep the weight off longer.