West Medical now proudly offers the ORBERA™ gastric balloon, a major advance in nonsurgical weight loss medicine. The FDA-approved procedure involves the placement of a spherical balloon-like device in a patient’s stomach. The result is that the patient will feel full significantly faster, making weight loss less difficult. Once in place, the balloon remains in the stomach for a period of six months. At the same time, patients will receive specialized support and nutritional guidance from our experienced team of weight loss professionals, including for a period of several months after the device has been removed.
Before & After Gallery
View our patients who have had success with weight loss at West Medical.
The Orbera weight loss program is a two-step process that reduces a patient’s ability to overeat with simultaneous coaching in both exercise and nutrition. Patients will learn how to make better nutritional choices while developing an overall healthy lifestyle. In an FDA study, the Orbera gastric balloon was proven to be more effective than exercise and diet without the device. The study showed that patients lost as much as 10 percent of their body weight compared to the three percent difference experience by the study’s control group.
The Orbera gastric balloon is intended for non surgical weight loss for morbidly obese patients or individuals who may not qualify for bariatric surgery, yet who still suffer from the effects of being overweight. For patients who are not severely obese, the Orbera gastric balloon program may present a method of weight loss that allows them to become healthier and also more confident about their overall appearance.
What is the ORBERA™ Gastric Balloon
Orbera is a synthetic, balloon-like device that is placed in a sedated patients’ stomach through a non-surgical endoscopic procedure through the mouth. Once the deflated balloon is in place, it is then inflated with a saline solution, occupying a large portion of the patient’s stomach and thereby making overeating uncomfortable. The entire procedure takes approximately 20 minutes and, because there are no incisions made, it requires little to no recovery time. The balloon remains in place for six months, at which point it is then removed in a similar procedure as the initial insertion process. Once the balloon is removed, the patient is then instructed to continue visiting their support team for another six months to ensure that their weight loss continues to progress in a healthy manner.
How do patients qualify for ORBERA™?
The Orbera gastric balloon is intended to help patients who have a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 40 lose weight who are unable or unwilling to undergo weight loss surgery. In most cases, patients who receive Orbera gastric balloon treatment have unsuccessfully attempted to lose weight in the past.
There are several instances that may be cause for early removal, adjustment, or replacement of the Orbera gastric balloon, including pregnancy, severe illness, rejection of the Orbera device, if another surgery is required, or if the balloon is accidentally deflated. It is important to note that the Orbera gastric balloon is intended to be a short-term solution for weight loss that enables patients to engage in a healthier lifestyle that lasts well beyond the treatment window.
In the event that patients experience an unexplained complete loss of appetite or increased hunger—sometimes with weight gain—patients should seek speedy medical assistance from their weight loss support team. Patients may be examined for balloon deflation, which can be a serious situation requiring emergency treatment. Gag reflex, valve or catheter junction leakage, incomplete filling, laryngospasm, and aspiration pneumonia are all potential, though unlikely, risks of gastric balloon insertion or removal.
Is Orbera Safe?
Yes. Our surgeons at West Medical are expertly trained and educated on the Orbera gastric balloon procedure and are among the most experienced weight loss surgeons in Southern California. Our team will make sure that patients are fully aware of all risks and benefits for gastric balloon treatment, while staying in touch in order to help ensure that treatment is progressing optimally.
Though Orbera is not a surgical operation, all medical procedures have some level of risk. Our office encourages patients to fully understand all of the risks and benefits associated with the procedure. However, Orbera is an FDA approved treatment for obesity, is much less invasive than bariatric surgery, and is widely considered to be safe by the medical bariatric community, with over 220,000 safe and successful placements worldwide.
Reasons Patients May Need to Consider Other Treatments
The Orbera gastric balloon has been proven highly successful. However, it is not for everyone and there are a number of reasons why some people may not be candidates for the procedure:
- Prior gastrointestinal or bariatric surgery
- Inflammation in the GI tract, possibly as a condition of gastric ulceration, duodenal ulceration, cancer, Crohn’s disease, esophagitis, and other conditions that cause chronic inflammation in a patient’s GI tract
- Gastrointestinal bleeding, or bleeding in related systems
- Telangiectasia, congenital or acquired
- Congenital irregularities of the GI tract like stenosis or atresia
- Hernia in the GI tract or associated areas
- Structural irregularities in the pharynx or esophagus (that could prevent insertion of the gastric balloon)
- Gastric mass
- Delayed gastric emptying
- Prior allergic reactions to materials that are used in the Orbera gastric balloon
Additionally, the Orbera gastric balloon system is not recommended for patients who:
- Are addicted to drugs or alcohol
- Are taking anti-inflammatory medications, aspirin, blood thinners, or other medications that are known to cause gastric irritation
- Are pregnant or breast-feeding
- Are unwilling to receive medically supervised diet and exercise coaching and support for six months with the gastric balloon installed and another six months after
- Are unwilling or unable to use prescribed proton pump inhibitor medications for six months while the device is installed
Schedule a Consultation
Individuals who are suffering from obesity or related concerns are encouraged to speak to one of our friendly representatives by calling (855) 690-0565. The entire West Medical team is more than happy to discuss options for your weight loss journey. You can also reach us via our contact page