The Obalon “Swallowable” Gastric Balloon is a unique new treatment for obesity. Since the capsule itself is slightly bigger than a large multivitamin capsule, we need to make sure the patient can swallow it adequately beforehand. We do this with what is called an “Obalon placebo swallow.”
Obalon supplies us with dissolvable capsules that are the exact same size as the balloon capsule itself, so the patient can swallow this in the office so that we can observe the patient. In the rare event that it doesn’t go down, it will dissolve within a few minutes and pass into the stomach.
We do two back-to-back placebo swallows, just to make sure and give the patient confidence that they won’t have any trouble on the day of their Obalon swallow! No special preparation is required, but it is best to not eat any solid food for a couple hours prior to your appointment.
Dr. from New Jersey demonstrates how easy this is in this YouTube video: