Gastric Balloon Options
Written By: Emma Squillace
There used to be fairly limited successful weight loss treatment options for people wanting to lose more than 30 – 50 pounds. The good news is that recently there have been exciting innovations in our industry, and doctors like those at West Medical are now able to offer a wide range of surgical and non-surgical treatments. These weight loss treatments are not only successful in helping many patients lose weight, but generally those patients are able to maintain that weight loss in the long term. Two of the most exciting new options are both weight loss balloons, which are called Orbera and ReShape. Here is an overview of the similarities and differences between these two gastric balloon options.
The Orbera and ReShape weight loss balloons are similar in several ways. First, it’s important to know that these are both devices that have earned FDA approval after rigorous testing of their safety and effectiveness. Before being approved by the FDA, each balloon completed studies showing how much better their results are, when compared to diet and exercise alone.
Placement of balloons
Both balloons are placed in the stomach “endoscopically.” This means that the doctor will lightly sedate you so you remain comfortable, and place a thin tube down your throat. The deflated balloons are placed in your stomach and then filled with saline. ReShape and Orbera are both placed in under 30 minutes.
One balloon vs two
One difference between the two balloons is that Orbera is a single balloon, and ReShape is made up of two balloons that are connected. One is not necessarily better that the other, and we can help you understand the structural differences during a consultation. We have another option called Obalon which is a set of 3 balloons. This option involves each balloon being placed in a separate appointment. Orbera and ReShape, on the other hand, involve a single appointment for balloon placement.
While both types of balloons are filled with a saline solution, a difference between the two types is that the Orbera balloon has a clear saline, and the ReShape balloon has a blue saline. ReShape has an added blue dye, which helps alert patients if the balloon has ruptured. If this happens, patients will see a blue tinge to their urine, and will know to contact their doctor’s office right away.
Part of a successful program
Both ReShape and Orbera are successful when the patient commits to eating and lifestyle changes that will enhance weight loss. The gastric balloon is a strong tool for kick-starting weight loss, and as patients adopt smaller portion sizes, and focus on lean proteins and vegetables, the balloons often lead to double or triple the weight loss of diet and exercise alone.
Both the ReShape and Orbera balloons are approved for adults with a BMI between 30 – 40. There are certain medical conditions that can disqualify patients from the balloon, so it’s important to discuss your full medical history with us. If the balloon is not the right weight loss option for you, we have a range of other treatments that may be a better fit.
When the doctors at West Medical place your ReShape or Orbera balloon in your stomach, you will keep the balloon for a period of 6 months. At that time, either balloon will be removed in a quick procedure, similar to the placement procedure. After the balloon is removed, you can maintain your weight loss by continuing to use the lifestyle modifications that we’ll teach you. Although the device is temporary, many patients find the weight loss can be part of a permanent, healthy, more energetic life.
If you are interested in weight loss help, but do not want surgery – or do not qualify for bariatric surgery – either the Orbera or the ReShape balloon may be a great option for you. Each of these balloons has shown to be safe and effective in many patients, and we offer these treatments because we’ve seen success. If this type of weight loss option is something you want to learn more about, please call our offices at (855) 690-0565 to learn more about how either Orbera or ReShape may work for you.