The gastric balloon is a non-surgical weight loss treatment option that has helped many men and women shed extra pounds. Obalon and Orbera are two different types of gastric balloons that have been approved by the FDA. At West Medical, we offer Obalon and Orbera to moderately overweight patients who have not been able to reach their ideal weight with diet and exercise alone.
What Is a Gastric Balloon?
The gastric balloon is a flexible, balloon-shaped, FDA-approved device that is inserted in the stomach without the need for surgery. The device takes up room in the stomach, so you feel full more quickly, after consuming far less food. Patients with the device report they feel full longer and crave less food.
Gastric balloons have been in general use for approximately two years, after clinical trials to ensure their efficacy and safety. This popular treatment makes it possible for patients to lose significant amounts of weight without undergoing a surgical procedure.
What Is the Difference Between Obalon and Orbera?
Orbera is a single gastric balloon that is filled with saline solution after it is placed in the stomach. Obalon is a system of three smaller, gas-filled balloons that are placed in the stomach, one at a time, in separate appointments, approximately one month apart.
How Are Obalon and Orbera Gastric Balloons Placed in the Stomach?
Obalon Balloon Placement
Obalon balloons are simply swallowed, and no anesthesia is required for the procedure. You will be given a “pill” to swallow with water, which is actually a deflated Obalon balloon with a very thin tube attached.
Once the deflated balloon is in your stomach, your doctor will inflate the balloon with gas through the attached thin tube. After this quick procedure, you are free to go home. You will return in one month for the second balloon, and again in two months for the third balloon.
Orbera Balloon Placement
For placement of the Orbera balloon, you will need to be sedated. Your doctor will place the balloon in your stomach using a thin tube inserted down your throat. Once the balloon is properly placed, your doctor will fill the balloon with saline solution through a thin tube.
After the balloon is filled, the tube is removed, and you will wake up from your sedation and return home. Orbera is a one-time treatment that takes approximately 20 minutes to perform.
How Long Are Gastric Balloons Left in the Stomach?
Whether you choose Orbera or Obalon, gastric balloons remain in your stomach for up to six months. With the Obalon system involving three balloons, the six months is measured from the date the first balloon is placed in the stomach.
How Are Obalon and Orbera Removed?
Although they are inserted differently, Obalon and Orbera balloons are removed in essentially the same way. The patient is sedated for the procedure and a thin tube is placed down the throat to deflate and remove the balloons.
How Much Weight Can You Lose with Gastric Balloons?
The amount of weight loss with Obalon and Orbera varies from person to person. Lifestyle changes are a major factor in how much weight you lose. Studies have shown that patients lose two to three times as much weight with gastric balloons as with diet and exercise alone.
Obalon versus Orbera: What Are the Pros and Cons?
Many patients lose 30 pounds or more with Obalon and Orbera gastric balloons. Each of these FDA-approved weight loss treatments has its advantages:
- Obalon can be swallowed and does not require sedation for insertion, as Orbera does.
- Obalon balloons are smaller, gas-filled, and therefore lighter. Orbera uses a larger, heavier, saline-filled balloon, which may cause more discomfort and nausea when first placed in the stomach.
- Orbera tends to produce more dramatic weight loss at first. As Obalon balloons are smaller, patients may not notice a significant difference until the second balloon is placed one month after the first balloon.
- Obalon balloons are placed gradually, one at a time, over a period of months, for an easier, more gradual adjustment.
- Orbera uses one balloon placed in a single visit, requiring fewer trips to the doctor.
- Orbera tends to produce slightly more overall weight loss than Obalon.
What Is the Secret to Success with Obalon and Orbera?
Obalon and Orbera are tools to help you lose weight. To succeed, you will need to make lifestyle changes, including changes in your diet and engaging in ongoing exercise.
Gastric balloons take up room in the stomach to help patients succeed with portion control. It is recommended that you also strive to eat the right kinds of food – particularly lean proteins and vegetables.
This doesn’t mean that any type of food is entirely forbidden with gastric balloons. You can still treat yourself occasionally to pasta or a small amount of ice cream or cake and still achieve consistent weight loss results. The important thing is to focus mainly on eating healthier foods, while the Obalon or Orbera balloon will help you control portions and eat far less.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Obalon or Orbera?
Obalon or Orbera may be the right option for patients who have tried and failed to lose weight and keep it off with diet and exercise alone. This treatment may be a good solution for men and women who do not qualify for or do not want to undergo bariatric surgery.
The ideal gastric balloon patient is moderately overweight and has been unable to achieve weight loss goals with traditional methods. Gastric balloons are FDA-approved for patients with a BMI of 30 to 40. If you believe you may be a good candidate for Obalon or Orbera, schedule a consultation at West Medical. We will discuss the factors that determine candidacy, including your:
- Medical history
- Personal weight loss goals
- Previous weight loss attempts
- Commitment to a weight loss program
Obalon and Orbera are both FDA-approved, effective tools to achieve weight loss. Many people have been able to lose significantly more weight with a gastric balloon than they have with diet and exercise alone.
Each type of gastric balloon has specific advantages. Our healthcare professionals can help you decide whether Obalon or Orbera is the appropriate treatment option to help you achieve your weight loss goals without surgery.
Contact Us Today!
We are ready to get you started on your road to health and beauty. Your first step is to contact us and schedule an initial consultation. During this time, we will establish everything we need to craft a custom treatment plan for you. Call today.
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