Does the Gastric Balloon work? – Can you Lose Weight without Surgery?

Gastric Balloon Pill for Weight Loss

Have you been looking at bariatric surgery as an option to combat weight gain but have shied away due to the cost or dangers involved? Are you looking for a temporary option like a gastric balloon pill rather than those permanent procedures? Earlier this week a study was presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal,  that shows 38 patients trialling a new form of Gastric Balloon that doesn’t require any endoscopy or anaesthesia its predecessors.

Bariatric Surgery Procedures, Health Gains and Risks

For many, bariatric procedures can be considered ‘too risky’ for those with extremely high BMI’s, or even in those suffering from other medical health problems. Because of these, it was often too risky to be placed under anaesthesia due to a greater risk for airway, respiratory and other complications.

The waiting period for these procedures alone can be very significant as you often need to lose as much weight as possible before the operation, this alone can take a few weeks/months. With this new Gastric Balloon technology that can be inserted without the need for any surgery or anaesthesia, it allows people like these to be able to undergo an operation which they were once denied.

non-surgical gastric balloon pill
The Elipse® Balloon System

What is the Gastric Balloon Pill Like?

The Balloon itself comes in a small compact pill-size that is attached to a very long and thin tube. Due to the size, it is able to be swallowed just like you would a normal tablet/pill, this removes the need for an endoscopy or anaesthesia. An ultrasound is used to determine the position of the pill and once in the stomach it then filled with 550ml of water through the tube. Unlike other permanent Bariatric procedures, the balloon will only stay in the stomach for around 4 months, once its lifespan is over it will simply erupt, empty its contents and then be excreted, also eliminating any need of removal procedures/operations.

Gastric Balloon Pill Results from Studies on 38 overweight or obese patients

The study presented at the European Congress on Obesity showed that 38 patients (all of which are between 87.8 and 131.6 kg) had a mean weight loss each of over 15kg at the end of the 16 week period. The study showed the balloon to be a safe and effective method of weight loss that aims to target the larger population of both obese patients and clinicians who don’t have access to endoscopy or surgical weight loss technology.

Gastric Balloon Diets – Nutrition and Diet Changes

As with any Gastric balloon diet, it is important to avoid hard to digest foods such as chewy meats and avoid sticky pasta that can get stuck to the balloon to avoid the risk of vomiting.

For more information about Gastric Balloons visit our information page here, if you have any more questions or concerns OR if you’ve lost weight and need your excess skin reduced, feel free to Email Us or phone one of our Patient Advisors today on (03) 8849 1464