The Obalon weight loss system uses a new method to install a gastric balloon. It combines a dietary and behavioral modification program that will help facilitate weight loss in adults aged 22 or older. Gastric balloons that are inflated inside the stomach to cause a person to feel full after eating less are a minimally invasive, nonsurgical option for people who have already attempted to lose weight using diet and exercise and been unsuccessful.
Most weight loss balloons are inserted and inflated endoscopically and this requires sedation. The Obalon balloon system is unique and even less invasive since no sedation is required. The patient simply swallows a capsule, like any other type of pill, and this capsule has a thin tube attached for inflation. Once the capsule’s position inside the stomach is confirmed by x-ray, the physician uses a device to inflate the balloon and the tube is then removed from your mouth. There is no anesthesia necessary and you are able to go home upon successful implementation. A person can have as many as three small balloons introduced, two weeks apart. All balloons are removed by six months after the first balloon’s insertion.
The Obalon balloon is inflated with nitrogen gas and has a volume of 250cc, or roughly the equivalent size of a small orange. It will take up space in the stomach and the person will feel fuller after eating smaller meals. This makes it easier for the individual to cut back on their food intake and thus facilitating weight loss when done with proper diet and behavior.
What makes the Obalon weight loss system such an attractive option for people seeking minimally invasive, non-surgical weight loss interventions is that it is different than other gastric balloons since implementation of the Obalon balloon requires no sedation or endoscopy. It literally consists of the person swallowing a capsule. It must be noted that removal does involve conscious sedation, but introduction of the balloons is really as simple as swallowing a pill. This allows a person to return almost immediately to their daily activities.
Another aspect to the Obalon weight loss system that sets it apart is that most gastric balloon systems are introduced all at once as a single large balloon and this sudden change to the stomach can cause discomfort and cramping. Whereas the Obalon weight loss system introduces smaller balloons one at a time that allow your body to adjust for minimal discomfort. A person can expect some abdominal cramping and nausea following the procedure, and there could potentially be vomiting, bloating, and diarrhea, these side effects are temporary and manageable with medication and guidance from our doctors. These conditions are also reported as being far less severe than those associated with other gastric balloon procedures. Most patients are able to return immediately to their usual activities following the procedure.
Who is a candidate for Obalon weight loss?
In order to determine if you are a good candidate for Obalon you should schedule for a consultation. It is important that we understand your current state of health and your medical history. We also will evaluate your individual condition and get better understanding of the amount of weight you need to lose for better health, mobility, and improved self-confidence. A normal candidate for the treatment will meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Adult over age 22
- Willing and able to follow a 12-month weight loss program
- BMI between 30 and 40
The Obalon treatment system may be contraindicated for the following:
- Any disorders or abnormalities of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract
- Allergies to products/foods of porcine origin
- Current use of certain medications
- Untreated or unstable medical conditions
- Alcoholism or drug addiction