It is no secret that Americans have a problem with obesity. It has been estimated that at least 36.5% of people in the United States meet the criteria for being considered obese. Research shows that at last 54% of people around the country are actively trying to lose weight. Weight loss centers around the country are popular destinations for many as some have estimated that 97% of people who lose weight through dieting will gain it all back within three years.
Weight loss clinics have a new weapon in their arsenal to help people fight back against fat. FOX News is reporting that a new method for promoting weight loss has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The new balloon system is slated to be released to the general public in early 2017. Research has shown this new medical weight loss method is much more effective than just making changes to people’s lifestyle such as making dietary improvements and getting more exercise. In studies on obese people who used the balloon system, showed they lost about double the weight as opposed to people who worked out and dieted.
According to one balloon manufacturer, Apollo Endosurgery, Inc.:
“The Orbera is placed into the stomach in a simple, non-surgical outpatient procedure. First, a diagnostic endoscopy is done to ensure that there are no contraindications and that it is safe to perform the procedure. Once you are mildly sedated and comfortable, the procedure can begin.
“The deflated gastric balloon is inserted through the esophagus and into your stomach. A syringe is then used to fill the balloon with a sterile saline solution. Once the weight loss balloon has been filled with saline it is about the size of a grapefruit. The entire procedure takes about 20-30 minutes. After roughly two hours of recovery, most patients head home to begin the rest of their new life.”
According to FOX News, in a study, which looked at 387 obese people who were given the balloon treatment or a placebo at a weight loss center, the patients who had received the real treatment were able to lose about 6.81% of their entire body weight. This translated into about a quarter of their excess weight.
“The balloon treatment helped them eat less, but they were also learning to make healthier choices through the support provided with the program,” said Aurora Pryor, MD, director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center at Stony Brook University in New York. “And they were able to maintain those healthier choices even after the balloons were removed.”
For people who will be given the new balloon weight loss treatment, nutritional support will be offered. The program is thought to be most effective when people who want to lose weight are able to learn how to eat a more healthy diet. The balloons themselves are not left in permanently. They are meant to be removed after about six months so the proper support from a nutritionist is essential to the success of the product. Adding in a work out regimen is also a critically important part of the program.
“That’s part of why the study was so successful,” said Pryor. “I think having the balloons added in a staged fashion helped the patients get more used to a diet and exercise program. The combination of lifestyle modification and balloon therapy does provide a new and low-risk option for patients struggling with obesity.”
This development comes as welcome news to millions of people around the world who want to lose weight. In 2012, people who were trying to lose weight in the United States spent over $65 billion on their weight loss efforts. Many people eschew weight loss surgery, such as the gastric bypass, because of the pain and recovery time but still want help with weight loss. For many people, who are afraid of having major bariatric surgery, this new, minimally invasive procedure and weight loss program, may be just the thing to help them. Weight loss centers around the country will soon be able to offer their patients a safe and effective way to lose weight.