• Tue, Jan 21 - 3:30 pm ET

Now You Can Lose Weight By Swallowing Party Decorations

balloonsThe 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

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  • Kaitlin Reilly

    While I’m sure that this is safe and everything, this sounds like a really scary procedure.

    • Joanna Rafael

      I agree. No way, jose.

  • Tinyfaeri

    But the real question is: can they make them look like a puppy?

    Diet and exercise can probably lose you at least as much weight in that amount of time. No need to voluntarily do what usually kills sea animals and birds.

    • Joanna Rafael

      I want my weight loss balloon to be shaped like a crown.

    • Tinyfaeri

      See, my first thought was one of those Carmen Miranda-esque hats, but that would have taken too many balloons. You could probably rig a crown with one balloon, though.

    • Joanna Rafael

      Now I want a Carmen Miranda-esque hat for real.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Every self-respecting woman should have one in her closet. You never know when you need to strut, and strutting is always more effective with a fruit hat on your head!

  • Larry Drew SG

    Why not eat right and exercise instead??? I don’t get it

    • Joanna Rafael

      It’s intended to help people who are having trouble kick start a healthy diet and exercise regime.

    • Larry Drew SG

      Won’t those people find ways to fail with this latest gimmick?

      I mean, an overwhelming majority of obesity is caused by life style choices (ie I need Bon Bons; I hate exercising)

      I heard there are people with lapban surgery who can’t lose weight…

    • Joanna Rafael

      If they do fail, it’s not really any of my business. I have a normal bmi, so I can’t really speculate how people who qualify for this procedure feel about it anyway.

    • Larry Drew SG

      Well, if your avy is any indication, you look like a healthy lady

      I just question whether having a balloon in your stomach is wise… What if it bursts… which direction will the gas escape?

    • Tinyfaeri

      There are people out there who voluntarily shove a feeding tube up their noses to lose weight. There’s always someone looking for a quick fix they don’t have to actively do anything for.