Unveiling the Science Behind the Orbera Balloon for Weight Management

Intragastric balloons (IGB) are space-occupying devices to help patients lose weight. They are the least invasive and most widely studied endoscopic bariatric therapy. The Orbera soft balloon is placed in the stomach in a simple, non-surgical procedure while you are mildly sedated. It’s important to note that this is not a permanent weight loss solution.

The Orbera Two-Part Program

In clinical trials, Orbera patients lost an average of 3.1x more weight than those who tried diet and exercise alone. The Orbera intragastric balloon is a durable silicone balloon filled with saline solution. It is inserted into your stomach using an endoscope without surgery or incisions. Once the balloon is in place, it occupies space and helps you feel full after eating smaller meals. The Orbera two-part program also includes medically supervised, coordinated diet and exercise and coaching support over 12 months. When your Orbera balloon is in place,

we’ll work with you to develop new habits and retrain your brain and digestive tract to recognize when your stomach is complete so you can enjoy long-term success. We’ll also help you address any gastrointestinal issues that may arise so you can confidently maintain your new healthy lifestyle. You can expect to lose most excess weight during the six months the Orbera balloon is in place. However, it would help if you committed to lasting changes to your diet and exercise for long-term weight loss success. The Orbera balloon will be removed following a non-surgical procedure under sedation, and will provide you with the nutrition and exercise guidance you need for your continued success.

How the Orbera Balloon Works

The Orbera balloon is a soft, silicone, medical-grade gastric balloon that is temporarily placed without surgery into the stomach. During the procedure, our doctors advance a tube that contains an unfilled Orbera balloon down your throat and into your stomach. Once the line is in place, they use a syringe to fill it with sterile saline, expanding it to about the size of a grapefruit. The resulting inflated balloon takes up space in your stomach, helping you feel full after meals faster and longer.

Throughout the six months your Orbera balloon is in place, your treatment team will help you change your thoughts about food. The program includes regular face-to-face sessions with your treatment team, including a dietician, exercise physiologist, and psychologist. It is one of the keys to successful weight loss and helps to ensure your results are sustainable.

Because the Orbera balloon slows your digestion, you’ll learn to eat smaller portions and snack less frequently. It is a crucial skill you can take after your balloon is removed.

How the Balloon Stays in Place

The Orbera balloon is inserted non-surgically during an outpatient procedure. You will be mildly sedated and comfortable throughout the process. Your doctor advances an endoscope — a thin tube with a camera attached — down your throat to reach your stomach. Then, they insert the Orbera balloon, which is filled with saline. The entire process takes less than half an hour. You will return home shortly after the process is finished. When the Orbera balloon is in place, it occupies space in your stomach, making you feel fuller faster and helping you reinforce proper portion sizes. It is when most patients begin seeing life-changing results. In fact, in the Orbera clinical study, participants lost 3.1 times more weight than those who didn’t have an intragastric balloon.

Your support system will assist you with implementing healthy lifestyle modifications to position yourself for long-term success while you own the balloon. They will provide coaching from a dietitian, psychologist, and exercise physiologist. They will also help you learn new eating habits and develop a plan for long-term maintenance. You will follow a liquid diet during the first week after the balloon is placed. After that, you will gradually introduce solid foods until you return to your regular eating pattern.

What to Expect

The Orbera intragastric balloon is the newest FDA-approved non-surgical weight loss treatment. It provides a new option for adults with a BMI between 30-40 who can’t lose weight with diet and exercise alone and are not candidates for bariatric surgery. It is a simple, safe, and effective long-term, sustainable weight loss approach. The treatment team will closely collaborate with you to create a plan for implementing changes necessary for long-term success. While the Orbera balloon is in place, it occupies space in your stomach, helping you eat smaller portions and retrain your brain to notice when your stomach is full. You will also work with a dietitian to reinforce healthy food choices, including tracking your meals.

Your team will provide six months of support and guidance, encouraging you to maintain your new lifestyle choices for the long term. They will also monitor you closely for symptoms of complications, such as nausea or vomiting, that could signal that your balloon is deflating. A deflated Orbera balloon has the potential to produce a potentially catastrophic intestinal obstruction if left untreated. The Orbera procedure is an outpatient procedure typically lasts 20-30 minutes. While you are mildly sedated, our doctors will advance a thin tube through your mouth and into your stomach. They will insert the Orbera balloon and then syringe fill it with saline until it is about the size of a grapefruit.

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