The new medical weight loss intervention procedure sounds like a gas! Scoot over lap bands and other weight loss surgeries, there’s a new procedure in town and it seems equal parts terrifying and whimsical. .
This Obalon pill is a weight loss treatment unlike other gastric balloon treatments that I did not know existed. This weight-loss party decoration in your guts does not require invasive surgery. Weird as balloons in the body maybe, anything that prevents patients be sliced up is, um, something to celebrate.
Here is how The Mirror describes the 10-minute Obalon pill procedure:
Patients swallow a capsule the size of a large vitamin pill which contains a deflated balloon.
The capsule is attached to a micro-catheter and, once the capsule arrives in the stomach, the balloon is inflated to the size of an apple.
The capsule dissolves and the catheter is removed via the mouth.
The balloon sits on top of the stomach, giving patients the sensation of fullness with the hope they then eat less and lose weight.
Patients receive a second balloon 30 days after the first procedure, with the option of a third balloon after around 60 days, based on their weight loss and feelings of fullness.
At the end of the treatment plan, which can be over several months, the balloons are deflated and removed during an outpatient endoscopy. This is where a thin, long, flexible tube is inserted into the throat. without the need for general anaesthetic.
Clinical trials in the UK show that patients can lose about 17 lbs in twelve weeks by having balloons replace space for food in their stomachs. While that’s impressive, it’s not a magical total body makeover. The treatment is shorter term than other gastric options; the Obalon pill is intended to give patients a “weight loss boost” and help them change their eating habits.
In case you were thinking the Obalon pill was the answer to all of your weight problems, remember that it is recommended for people with a BMI of 27 or higher and costs about $24,000 for two balloons. And of course, one must consider the side effects experienced by 7% of the guinea pigs in the clinical trial: vomiting, cramps and reflux “which generally subsided in a day or so.”
Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something totally fucked up and cartoonish about swallowing pills filled with balloons that swell once inside you, but if it’s a safer way for people to lose weight than similar alternatives, who am I to burst anyone’s bubble?
Via The Mirror//Image via Shutterstock