A third of U.S. adults are obese or overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When efforts to lose weight fail, a less-invasive, non-surgical option is the ORBERA Intragastric Balloon System.
Performed under mild sedation, the procedure to insert the intragastric balloon is done with an endoscope to ensure proper placement of the balloon in your stomach. The balloon will then be filled with a saline, or salt water, solution. This liquid will allow the balloon to expand into a shape that contours to your stomach’s shape, although space will be left for normal digestion to take place. The balloon can be filled to different levels with saline based on what’s best for your situation.
The ORBERA balloon system is designed for people who need to lose a smaller amount of weight than what’s normally considered necessary for surgical remedies. If you need some added assistance to kick-start your weight loss efforts beyond what you’ve already tried, it’s a procedure that may benefit you. It’s also a viable option when there is a willingness to learn new dietary habits, which will be necessary if you hope to sustain your weight loss after the balloon is removed. It’s also recommended for patients who:
Your initial consultation to discuss the ORBERA Intragastric Balloon System will include an evaluation of your medical history. Plan to discuss your previous attempts at weight loss and how much success you had, even it was short-term, and why you think the efforts failed.
Your first meeting is also a time to establish weight loss goals and discuss your motivation for trying the system. If you decide it’s a procedure likely to benefit you, a date and time will be scheduled and you’ll be told what to expect. Additional preparation suggestions include:
Life with ORBERA is meant to be a learning experience. When the intragastric balloon is “active,” referring to when it is filled with saline and in place in your stomach, you will attend regular follow-up meetings. During these subsequent appointments, your progress will be monitored. You will also receive training on how to make appropriate lifestyle changes starting once the balloon is in place.
You will have access to a support team who will provide information on how to make effective, long-term lifestyle adjustments. It’s this support that can provide the added incentive you may need to stick with weight loss efforts. The balloon itself is not a weight loss solution; it’s a tool for long-term weight management. You’ll also learn to:
The balloon will be temporarily placed into your stomach for a period of six months. At the end of that time, it will be removed and you’ll be encouraged to continue with the healthy dietary and fitness changes you’ve already made to sustain your weight loss. Most of the weight lost with the ORBERA system occurs during the first three months that the balloon is in place and active, although weight loss is likely to continue to some extent during the rest of the time that the balloon is in place — and beyond that point if you adhere to diet and exercise recommendations.
You will have access to continued support during the six-month period following removal of the balloon. If you stick with your diet and exercise program, you will likely see more successful weight loss than you would have achieved through dieting alone with no balloon insertion. Sustained weight loss and maintenance of your goal weight once you’ve reached your preferred target is certainly possible if you commit to the program.
Only your doctor can discuss with you the realistic expectations that you should have in place, based on your lifestyle, starting weight, medical history, and more. Each patient’s exact experience varies.
The ORBERA Intragastric Balloon System is worth considering if you wish to lose weight without opting for a surgical procedure like gastric bypass. The system is recommended for individuals who need to lose less than 50 pounds and have a body mass index of less than 35. The ORBERA system may also benefit you if you need to lose some weight prior to proceeding with surgery for safety reasons, although you will have a chance to discuss this prior to deciding whether or not to participate in the program. Placement and removal is an outpatient procedure that typically takes about half an hour to complete for most patients, but this can vary.
Your doctor can help you determine what you need to do in order to prepare and to recover from the procedure. It is very important to follow these instructions carefully in order to get the best results and to experience a smooth outpatient procedure.
To learn more about ORBERA and to find out if it could be a good fit for you, contact our office for a consultation. Your doctor can evaluate your current weight and weight loss goals to help you decide if this procedure would be helpful for you.
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