by Dr. Trace Curry
video from CBS news
This fascinating new “pill” is being studied now in Europe. It is a tiny capsule that is attached to a long tube. The patient can swallow the capsule and it can then be inflated in the patient’s stomach. Once inflated, it takes up space there so that the patient gets full earlier.
Gastric balloons are not new, but this is the first one I have seen that does not require a major procedure like an endoscopy to place it.
This device is called the Obalon balloon and is meant for temporary use (up to 3 months).
I do not think that it will ever be a permanent weight loss solution, but would be good for high BMI patients who were trying to lose weight prior to a procedure like a gastric sleeve, Lap Band, or gastric bypass.
Also for lower BMI patients it could be a good option to kickstart a good medical weight loss regimen.
It isn’t cheap though! In the UK it costs around $3300. It is not currently available in the US.