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Doctors Testing New Balloon Weight Loss Procedure

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Bariatric surgery remains the last resort for some overweight people to lose weight. However, it is only recommended for people whose BMI is over 35. Generally, doctors refrain from suggesting patients to go under the knife unless they have tried other means of losing weight and failed. This is because it’s easier for them to lose weight. Nevertheless, some people don’t want to make any effort and choose a hassle-free weight loss procedure through which they can achieve the desired results.

For people who are not obese or overweight but still want to undergo surgery to get into shape, there is a simple solution called the Balloon Procedure. A renowned bariatric surgeon at Allegheny Health Network in Pennsylvania, George Eid, is testing a new pill along with 15 other medical experts in the field. Weight loss surgery is particularly referred to people who want to lose 100 pounds or more. However, people below a BMI of 35 don’t need to lose that much weight.

For those people, this new weight loss procedure brings a ray of hope. It is a substitute to bariatric surgery and has initially proven effective for people who wish to shed around 30 to 40 pounds in one go. The balloon weight loss procedure involves a balloon full of gas in the stomach.
Patients will ingest the pill that will fill the stomach with nitrogen gas and an inflated balloon will be formed which will occupy most of the space in the stomach. This balloon will leave little space for food. Hence, people will feel satisfied quickly, eating smaller portions rather than eating more, which ultimately results in obesity or weight gain.

Dr. Eid states this weight loss procedure is aimed at curbing obesity. It’s not for people who are already obese. It’s for people who want to control their eating habits, eventually keeping themselves from getting fatter. More than a weight loss process, it is considered a weight management procedure for people who are at a high risk of becoming obese.

This new balloon procedure for weight loss is designed by a California-based company, Obalon Therapeutics. It is approved in Europe for testing purpose. The process involves placement of balloons in the stomach over the period of a month with several breaks. The first balloon is ingested in a form of a pill with an attached tube. Later, the gas is pumped into the tube and X-rays are used for determining the placement. Then, the tube is removed and the balloons stay inflated.


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