A hi-tech balloon that fills up the stomach and then pops itself after four months could help to counter the obesity epidemic. The new type of gastric balloon, which has just been approved for use in the UK, is designed to help those who find it impossible to lose weight through normal diets. But unlike existing products, no surgery is required to insert or remove it. Instead, the patient swallows a tiny capsule containing the deflated Elipse balloon, which is made from a delicate polymer film.
A new type of stomach-filling balloon can help people drop pounds, and it doesn’t require any surgery to place it, researchers reported Thursday.
Patients can just swallow the deflated balloon, and doctors can use a narrow catheter to fill it with water. The balloon makes it harder to overeat.
A study presented at the Obesity Week meeting in Los Angeles shows the “balloon pill” works at least as well as other stomach balloons to help people lose weight.
“It’s a swallowable balloon, much like a large pill. People will swallow it (and) it will reside in the stomach,” said Dr. John Morton, chief of bariatric surgery at Stanford University and president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
“It then gets inflated with a very thin catheter. Roughly about half a liter of fluid goes into that balloon,” Morton, who was not involved with the study, told NBC News.
After four months, 34 patients trying out the balloon lost an average of 22 pounds, or 37 percent of their excess weight. Their cholesterol and blood sugar levels also improved – something that usually happens when people lose even a little weight.
As with other gastric balloons, the most common adverse events reported were nausea and vomiting.
via NBC News