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OrberaTM Gastric Balloon

The gastric balloon is the latest device-based weight loss system to be approved by the FDA. The gastric balloon is a non-surgical option that can help provide a boost to weight loss.  Made of non-allergenic material and filled with sterile saline, the balloon takes up extra space in the stomach, giving patients a sense of fullness without surgical intervention. The balloon remains in the stomach for 6 months during which time patients will participate in a one year long medical weight loss program in conjunction with the balloon implant.

The gastric balloon is placed by a qualified and trained bariatric surgeon with our program.

How It Works

The patient is sedated and an endoscopic procedure places the balloon-like device in the stomach. Once placed appropriately in the stomach, your surgeon will fill the balloon with sterile saline. The ballon will be roughly the size of a grapefruit.

The entire procedure only requires 20-30 minutes and it is performed in an outpatient setting for maximum comfort and convenience.

After six months the balloon is removed. For most patients, the six month implant will be sufficient to lose a significant amount of weight, assuming they continue with their medical weight loss program and lifestyle change. The medical weight loss program will continue for another half-year.

To remove the gastric balloon, the surgeon will puncture it and allow the saline to pass through the GI tract. Then the balloon is removed endoscopically.

Expectations and Results

The gastric balloon procedure is relatively safe and results have been proven with over 220,000 balloons placed around the world. Clinical data from the manufacturer show over 3 times more weight lost than by diet and exercise alone. As with any weight loss program, results will vary and patients must maintain a new and improved lifestyle including appropriate diet and exercise.

Do You Qualify?

Patients suffering from obesity who do not qualify for, or do not wish to undergo, surgery may find the gastric balloon to be a good alternative for their particular circumstance. There are, however, qualification criteria set by the FDA which include:

  • You must be over 18
  • You must have a BMI of 30-40
  • You must participate in a medically supervised weight loss program

Benefits of the Gastric Balloon

  • The device is a non-permanent implant
  • Up to 3 times more weight loss than diet and exercise alone
  • Continued support for up to a year
  • “Day procedure” / outpatient

Risks and Considerations of the Gastric Balloon

  • Typically patients will not lose as much weight as with a weight loss surgery procedure
  • As with any weight loss program, lifestyle improvements through diet and regular exercise are required for success
  • There is a chance that the balloon will deflate before the full course of treatment, requiring removal of the deflated balloon
  • Most insurance companies do not cover this procedure
  • Many patients will feel nauseous or vomit for up to 2 weeks after the procedure. In these cases we may be able to help with medications

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