Photos of the Day: 'Balloon Pill' Offers Weight Loss Treatment
The Obalon balloon is designed to assist weight loss by partially filling the stomach and helping to induce a feeling of fullness. The placement of one or more balloons in the stomach helps you consume less food at each sitting. The Obalon balloon consists of 3 lightweight balloons that are placed in the stomach over a 12-week treatment period. Rather than introducing one large balloon, the Obalon balloon is designed to minimize discomfort by introducing up to 3 small balloons over time.
Placement of the Obalon balloon is a straightforward procedure that takes about 15 minutes. The balloon technology utilizes a capsule that contains the balloon inside. The capsule is attached to a tiny tube that allows inflation. You drink a cup of water and swallow the capsule with the tube attached, just like you would swallow a normal capsule. Once the capsule reaches your stomach, it opens up and releases the balloon. Your physician confirms the balloon placement using an x-ray and then uses a device to inflate the balloon with gas. After the balloon is inflated, your physician releases the tube from the balloon and pulls the tube out of your mouth, leaving the balloon free-floating in your stomach. You do not need any sedation for this procedure and you are free to go home right after the balloon is inflated. Additional balloons are placed in the exact same way.