How Well Does the Weight-Loss Balloon Really Work? Is it A Success or A Bust!
An inflatable balloon that can help people to lose weight was recently approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The balloon, which is temporary, can help those who don’t qualify for weight-loss surgery to lose weight when ç aren’t enough.A previous type of balloon was approved years ago, but it was removed from the market in 1992 because it posed the risk of blocking the arteries if it ruptured. The new model addresses the previous issues.The device, which is called the ReShape Dual Balloon, consists of two balloons that are connected. The device is inserted into the patient’s stomach, while under sedation, through an endoscope. The balloons are then filled with saline. The balloons take up space in the stomach, making the patient feel full faster, aiding them in consuming fewer calories and losing weight as a result. Company trials demonstrated that patients using the balloon lost 7 percent of their body weight, while those without the device lost only 3.3 percent.
This balloon is safer than the previous balloon because the dual system keeps one balloon in place should it rupture. The solution is also dyed blue; if a rupture does occur, the blue dye will color the patient’s urine blue, alerting the patient to the rupture. The device can then be removed by a doctor.
Because the device is temporary, it is designed for quick weight-loss, rather than long-term results. It is not as effective as weight-loss surgery for those who are severely obese. A recommended diet and exercise plan must be followed while using the balloon in order for the procedure to be most effective.
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Though the device proved effective while in place, once it was removed patients regained approximately one-third of their weight after the trial. Additionally, the device may cause extreme nausea. In some patients, the nausea was so severe that the device had to be removed. The FDA cautions that it should not be used by individuals with stomach problems or those who have had previous weight-loss surgery.
Candidates for the device must have a body mass index between 30 and 40, with at least one health-related condition resulting from obesity. Candidates must also show that they haven’t been able to lose weight through diet and exercise alone.
Makers of the device are hopeful that this balloon will offer a non-surgical solution to the growing obesity epidemic that the nation faces.