The Weight Loss Balloon!

According to a recent story broadcast by WEAR-ABC 3, an ABC television affiliate in Florida and Alabama, and posted to their website, Americans are going to Europe and Mexico to take advantage of a new weight-loss device that is still waiting for FDA approval in the US.

The device, known as the Obalon Balloon, is the world’s first weight-loss balloon that can be swallowed. The balloon, which is the size of a vitamin tablet, is swallowed with a glass of water, and is then inflated with gas by doctors who use an X-ray to find the balloon in the stomach and a tube to deliver the gas. Once the balloon is inflated, the tube is removed from the patient’s stomach. The idea is to make the patient feel fuller, faster and so cut down on their food intake.

Up to three balloons are inserted in each patient and they remain in the stomach for up to four months, at which time the patient is sedated and the balloons are removed.
Candidates for the device are overweight or obese. After the procedure, patients have reported that they eat as much as 70-80% less food. There is the risk that the devices can deflate or rupture before they are removed which can cause damage to the stomach or to the intestines.
The price of the procedure: a hefty US$4,000.

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