Intragastric Balloon (Obalon)
The Obalon intragastric balloon is an FDA-approved weight loss system that uses space occupying balloons in the stomach to decrease hunger and reduce caloric intake to help patients achieve their goals. The balloons are delivered into the stomach via a capsule that the patient can swallow. They are then inflated with air by the surgeon using an attached catheter, each one occupying approximately 250 mL of space in the stomach.
This system is fundamentally different than previous balloons that have been on the market, namely Orbera (Apollo Endosurgery) and Reshape (Reshape Medical). These systems used fluid filled balloons to occupy space in the stomach, causing patients to feel constantly full and weighed down. In contrast, the Obalon balloon system is a lightweight, air-filled system that allows the patient to easily and comfortably continue with their daily activities.
Below are answers to commonly asked questions about the Obalon system. For finding out even more, please call us at 210-615-8500
Patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-40 kg/m2 who are unable to lose weight despite diet and exercise are candidates for this procedure. Specific exclusions may apply, contact us to find out more.
The balloons are placed in the office during a short, 10-minute procedure. You are able to leave the office after placement and return to work the same day.
Balloon removal requires a 15-minute endoscopic procedure performed with light, conscious sedation. This will be done in a hospital setting.
The Obalon balloon system, which gives optimal results with placement of 3 balloons placed over a 3-month period, will remain in place for a maximum of 6 months.
Due to the novelty of this procedure, insurance does not currently cover the costs associated with having the Obalon system placed. We are happy to discuss the comprehensive balloon program and pricing with you at our seminars or in our office.
For patients interested in the Obalon system, there is a comprehensive program associated with it to achieve maximal results! This includes:
- Introductory seminar
- Physician-directed medical weight loss (MWL) program for 6 months
- Dietary and nutrition counseling
- Pre- and post-procedure DEXA scan
- Office-based placement of up to three balloons
- Fluoroscopic surveillance of balloons
- Endoscopic retrieval of the balloons at 6 months
Preliminary data from clinical studies shows that patients are able to lose ~6-7% of their total body weight (range 15-50 pounds) when combined with a comprehensive weight loss program. At 1 year, 90% of the patients were maintain their weight loss.
Clinical trials report mild abdominal pain, nausea, indigestion, and/or vomiting during the initial period after placement as the body adjusts to the gastric restriction.
No severe or life-threatening complications have been reported in early trials, however specific procedure related risks should be discussed with the surgeon prior to undergoing any intervention.
Please contact our office at 210-615-8500 to speak with us directly for more information.