Gastric balloon systems are increasing in popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. At West Medical, we recognize how difficult weight loss can be for people struggling with obesity. That’s why we have endeavored to offer patients some of the most cutting edge weight loss treatments available today.
If you have been struggling with your weight for some time and are interested in a gastric balloon system comparison, then you may have already heard of three types of treatment. These are:
- Reshape (no longer available)
Both of the remaining programs are available through West Medical, follow the same general course of treatment, and are entirely nonsurgical, as no incisions are involved. Both take a proven approach to effectively and safely help patients make the lifestyle changes necessary for a major weight loss.
What Both Procedures Share
Generally speaking, both Orbera and Obalon start with a balloon phase in which the device is placed in the patient’s stomach endoscopically via the esophagus. A team of medical and dietary professionals will work with the patient to help them make permanent lifestyle changes before the balloon[s] are then extracted after about six months.
Once the balloon[s] are extracted, both programs require that patients continue to work with medical and dietary professionals for another six months to ensure lasting results. This commitment is a must, and vital for the overall success of either program.
Orbera and Obalon work similarly: one or more gastric balloons are inserted into the patient’s stomach to take up space and make patients feel full much faster. This discourages overeating while simultaneously encouraging healthier eating choices and habits. Balloon procedures have proven to be viable options for patients who have not previously undergone any form of bariatric surgery.
Lastly, it is important to note that patients must have a body mass index (BMI) between 30-40 to qualify for gastric balloon treatments. Comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease may help qualify a patient for weight loss treatment.
The Key Differences
As mentioned above, Orbera and Obalon operate in the same general manner. However, some important differences may influence a decision:
- Orbera makes use of a single 550cc gastric balloon filled with a saline solution while Obalon uses as many as three, air-filled 250cc balloons that are each inserted about two weeks apart from one another. Both treatment options remove all gastric balloons after six months.
- Both procedures generally require some form of anesthesia for insertion and/or extraction. Orbera patients will benefit from anesthesia during both phases while some Obalon patients may be able to swallow the device and cable without assistance. However, Obalon patients will need anesthesia during the extraction phase and since there are more devices in use, the process typically takes longer.
- In terms of comfort, Orbera patients appear to be less aware of their device compared to Obalon patients, who may on occasion feel their air-filled balloons shift. That being said, some unusual sensations are to be expected from both forms of treatment, but most patients report that they quickly get used to them. Orbera patients, however, only have to get used to a single device during their treatment.
- Finally, Obalon balloons are lighter, which can arguably lessen the level of satiety (fullness) induced by the devices.
Before & After Gallery
View our patients who have had success with weight loss at West Medical.
For more information on either of the gastric balloon treatments that we offer here at West Medical and which may be best for you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at the number on your screen or send us a message through our contact form.
Los Angeles Area Office
9301 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 405 & 406
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Orange County Area Office
800 North Tustin Ave, Suite M
Santa Ana, CA 92705