Deciding whether to undergo weight loss surgery is not an easy task, and it’s made even more difficult by the fact that it involves making a generally permanent alteration to one or more major organs. However, now there is a nonsurgical alternative called Orbera. This is a gastric balloon made of silicone that is placed in your stomach via endoscopy. There’s no surgery involved; the endoscopy is minimally invasive. Orbera has already been getting rave reviews from patients who have used it to successfully lose weight, although the results can vary.
The Orbera balloon is smooth and fits nicely into your stomach. Your doctor places a tube down your throat and esophagus and sends the deflated balloon down that way, later filling it with a saline solution. This reduces the amount of space in your stomach for food without actually cutting or resectioning anything in your abdomen. The reduced space in your stomach makes you feel full after eating less, giving you more practice with controlling your portions.
Because Orbera does not change your physiology in any permanent way and does not try to circumvent your normal digestive processes, your diet can remain essentially the same except that it requires smaller portions. Orbera is removed after a few months, and it is easier to remove before that if you prefer.
Need to Know
The reduced capacity in your stomach does mean that the amount of nutrients you take in will change, so you’ll need to plan your meals and possibly take vitamins if you don’t already. The time during which the Orbera balloon is in your stomach should be used to get used to healthier ways of eating because there won’t be anything to physically stop you from eating a lot once the balloon is removed.
Eating too much or too fast while the balloon is in use can lead to nausea. Take time to chew your food and eat mindfully. Note that Orbera is generally used if your BMI is over 30, so this is not used for losing those last five pounds.
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