Orbera Balloon: Is it Right for You?

October 17, 2023


Obesity is associated with serious health issues, including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and kidney and liver diseases. Weight loss can reverse some of these conditions and improve overall health.

The Orbera balloon is a non-surgical, minimally invasive alternative to bariatric surgery. It is a saline-filled device that sits inside the stomach.

How Does the Orbera Balloon Work?

In short, the Orbera balloon is a minimally invasive weight loss device that works with your physician-directed diet and exercise plan to help you achieve more pronounced and sustainable results than dieting and exercising alone. The procedure is non-surgical and is done endoscopically. , your doctor advances an endoscope (thin tube with a camera) down your throat into the stomach to place the balloon inside. After the ball has been placed, it is inflated to the size of about a grapefruit. The process takes about it's-hour, and you go home soon afterward. If you're considering this type of solution, it's a good idea to research beforehand. Websites like TheSilhouetteClinic.com can provide you with valuable information.

Your doctor can remove the balloon anytime with a safe and easy procedure. You’ll need a face-to-face appointment with your doctor to discuss your health history to qualify for intragastric balloon placement and be willing to participate in a 12-month program that includes eating healthy and making other lifestyle changes.

You should also have no serious health conditions that would make you a poor candidate for this weight loss device, including severe gastroesophageal reflux disease, previous stomach surgeries or bowel surgeries, or a psychiatric disorder. During the six months that the Orbera balloon is in your stomach, you’ll lose substantial weight due to the balloon taking up space.

How Does the Orbera Balloon Help You Lose Weight?

The Orbera balloon occupies space in your stomach, helping you feel full more quickly and reinforcing proper portion sizes. Patients lose 10 to 15 pounds a month while the device is in place.

Your weight loss will vary depending on your starting point and commitment to the program. Patients who exercise and follow a physician-directed diet will achieve more pronounced results. Some people have lost up to 47% of their initial body weight while the Orbera balloon is in their stomach.

This non-surgical procedure is performed through your mouth using an endoscope (a thin tube with a small camera and light). The outpatient process takes about 20-30 minutes, and you’ll be mildly sedated.

You’ll be allowed to leave the hospital shortly after your leave, though you may feel pain or discomfort for a few hours. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help.

While the Orbera balloon is in your stomach, you must consume a liquid diet, including protein shakes and other high-protein foods. It would help to avoid sugary drinks, high-fat meals and alcohol. You should drink 1.5-2 liters of water daily to stay well-hydrated. You can begin by taking sips of fluids immediately after each meal, then gradually increase your intake as you get used to it.

How Does the Orbera Balloon Help You Maintain Your Weight Loss?

The Orbera balloon helps you maintain your weight loss by teaching you how to eat and portion your food correctly. It can also teach you how to exercise, vital to maintaining your health and losing weight.

With the help of your supportive team, you will learn how to keep eating healthy and exercising after the balloon is removed. You will typically see the best results after six months of working with the balloon and your support team. This is when most patients lose 20 to 50 pounds.

To place the Orbera intragastric balloon, your doctor will first insert a thin tube with a camera attached to it into your mouth and stomach. They will use the endoscope to carefully examine your esophagus, stomach and GI tract to ensure nothing that would make placing a balloon unsafe, such as a large hiatal hernia or a stomach ulcer. Once everything looks normal, the doctor will attach a catheter to the end of the endoscope and insert it into your stomach. Then, they will fill the catheter with saline to the grapefruit size.

The balloon stays in your stomach for about six months, the maximum length the FDA has approved. It is then removed during a similar endoscopic procedure. Because it is a minimally invasive surgery, no incisions are required, and you can return home after just a couple of hours of recovery.

Which Weight Loss Method is Right for You?

The Orbera balloon is an intragastric device designed to be part of a medically supervised weight loss program. The procedure involves placing a soft, pliable silicone balloon in the stomach and filling it with saline until it is about the size of a grapefruit. The balloon occupies space in the stomach and helps you to eat smaller meals by reinforcing healthy portion control. The balloon remains in the stomach for six months and is removed during a similar endoscopic procedure.

The balloon is an FDA-approved alternative to the Orbera and an excellent choice for those seeking non-surgical weight loss options. The Orbera and Spatz3 are made from highly durable and pliable silicone, so they do not rupture easily. However, the Orbera has a unique access port that allows doctors to adjust the balloon’s volume to meet patient’s specific needs and maximize weight loss results.


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