A Intragastric Balloon is a silicon balloon designed to help those struggling with diet and exercise to lose weight. The balloon is a non-surgical in-patient procedure.
ORBERA, an intragastric balloon, has been used for weight loss worldwide for years, but the device, didn’t gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval until August 2015.
Dr Kuri recently placed an ORBERA Intragastric Balloon in a patient recently who has since lost more than 20 pounds. The balloon, which isn’t covered by health insurance, must be paired with a dietary coaching program to ensure success.
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is the most popular weight loss surgery in the United States, topping laparoscopic gastric bypass, which is the most invasive type of weight loss surgery.
ORBERA, which is less invasive than the other weight loss procedures, will appeal to patients with a BMI between 30 and 40 who don’t qualify for weight loss surgery.
“If someone has diabetes or high blood pressure and their BMI is 32 and we can get them with this tool to lose 40 pounds, that would really dramatically improve their health,”
The ORBERA Intragastric Balloon is inserted with a scope through the esophagus into the stomach while the patient is sedated. Then the balloon is inflated with 600 milliliters of saline to about the size of a grapefruit. The procedure takes about 15 minutes, according to Dr Kuri, who said patients can return home about two hours later.
ORBERA, is similar to a breast implant, takes up space in the stomach, causing the patient to feel full after consuming a smaller amount of food.
Patients report losing weight the first few pounds come off rather quickly. After the balloon is placed, the first week is of an adaptation phase. There can be some symptoms of nausea in the first week, which really limits how much people can eat. Maintaining hydration is very important.
The balloon stays in place for six months, then it is punctured and retrieved in a procedure similar to how it was inserted.
The FDA trial that assessed the safety and effectiveness of ORBERA showed patients with the device who participated in diet and exercise lost 3.1 times more weight than people who just tried to lose weight with diet and exercise alone.