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ThinAir Gastric Balloon

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The struggle to control one’s weight can be disheartening, particularly when you severely restrict calories or suffer through drastic diets to lose the weight, only to gain it back again, plus more. The problem with fad diets and weight loss pills is the yo-yo effect, along with the detrimental effect these diets can have on overall health and energy.

The gastric balloon is a non-surgical weight loss solution that can help you make healthy lifestyle changes and jumpstart your weight loss journey. At West Medical, we offer qualified patients the ThinAir gastric balloon, the first FDA-approved, swallowable gastric balloon program for weight loss.

What Is the ThinAir Gastric Balloon?

ThinAir is a safe, non-surgical, fully reversible treatment for weight loss involving three swallowable balloons placed gradually in the stomach over a two-month period, where they remain in the stomach for a maximum of six months. Each balloon is placed in the stomach in a convenient procedure that can be performed in approximately 10 minutes or less.

How are ThinAir Gastric Balloons Placed in the Stomach?

Each ThinAir balloon can be placed in the stomach in a quick, simple, noninvasive procedure performed in the doctor’s office. You simply swallow a pill-sized capsule with a tiny catheter attached. When the capsule dissolves in the stomach, the ThinAir gastric balloon is released.

The doctor inflates the balloon with air through the catheter, after which the catheter is removed. You can return to work or go on about your normal activities immediately after the procedure.

How Does the ThinAir Gastric Balloon Program Work?

The ThinAir gastric balloons facilitate weight loss by taking up room in your stomach, so you feel full faster and eat less. Each fully inflated balloon is the size of a small lemon and weighs approximately three grams (less than a penny). All three balloons combined have a volume of 750 cc, a little over 25 fluid ounces.

During the program, while the balloons are in the stomach, patients receive professional nutrition and exercise guidance. While the balloons jumpstart weight loss, patients receive the information and support they need to make critical lifestyle changes, including exercise and healthier eating habits to help maintain a healthier weight for the long term.

Patients on the ThinAir gastric balloon program not only lose the weight but keep it off. At one year (six months after the balloons were removed), patients on moderately intensive diet and exercise programs kept off an average of 89% of the weight lost.

How Long Does the ThinAir Gastric Balloon Program Take?

This is a six-month weight loss program. Three weeks after you swallow the first balloon capsule, your doctor will have you swallow the second balloon capsule, and the third balloon capsule three weeks later. All balloons are removed from the stomach six months after the first balloon capsule was put in place.

Why Are the ThinAir Balloons Placed in the Stomach Gradually?

The three buoyant, lightweight ThinAir balloons are placed in the stomach gradually, over a two-month period, to make the treatment easier to tolerate for the patient and to facilitate progressive weight loss. Studies have shown that three balloons result in optimal weight loss. Patients treated with three balloons lost more than four times as much weight as patients treated with only two balloons.

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Are There Any Restrictions with ThinAir Gastric Balloons?

Most patients can resume normal activities immediately after each balloon is placed. Individuals who plan to live at altitudes higher than 4000 feet, or 2500 feet lower than the altitude where the balloons would be placed, are not candidates for ThinAir balloons placed in the stomach. While the balloons are in the stomach, patients are prohibited from taking drugs that can irritate the stomach, such as aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), for example, Advil and Motrin.

How Are ThinAir Gastric Balloons Removed from the Stomach?

No sedation or anesthesia is required to place the ThinAir balloons in the stomach. At the end of the six-month period, you will visit your doctor for a quick, outpatient procedure to remove the balloons, performed under light conscious sedation. All three balloons will be removed from the stomach at this time.

How Much Weight Can I Expect to Lose on the ThinAir Gastric Balloon Program?

Weight loss on the program varies from patient to patient. In an extensive clinical study, researchers found that the ThinAir program can help adults achieve meaningful weight loss. When ThinAir gastric balloons were combined with diet and exercise, people lost twice as much weight as with diet and exercise alone.

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