The FDA Just Approved These Balloons that You Swallow to Lose Weight

The FDA Just Approved These Balloons that You Swallow to Lose Weight

Another almost unbelievable weight-loss invention has just hit the market.

As if the AspireAssist weren’t enough, (the vacuum that sucks food from your stomach,) the FDA has just approved a capsule that expands in your stomach to promote weight loss.

Eating healthy food and getting a bit of exercise everyday just doesn’t work, huh?

Apparently, we are too far gone. Or, no one wants to try.

Here’s how it works: the Obalon Balloon System, which aims to help adults with obesity who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-40 kg/m2, uses gastric balloons to occupy space in the stomach.


Patients swallow a capsule that expands with air once inside. (It swells via a thin inflation catheter attached to the capsule).

The balloons, which are about 1 cup in volume, work to fill up a patient’s stomach, making them desire to eat less food to feel full, which in turn, results in weight loss.

Up to three balloons can be placed in a patient over a 6-month treatment period, at the end of which, the air sacks are deflated and removed using an endoscopic procedure.

A study was done to prove that these wacky contraptions actually help people lose more weight than other methods and that they are a relatively safe thing to use for some.
The system, designed by San Diego firm Obalon Therapeutics, allows a gastric balloon to be inserted into the stomach without invasive surgery. The balloon is being launched in the UK after successful trials here and in the US. What makes this system different from other gastric balloons is that it can be swallowed and then inflated without the need for anaesthetic or sedation. It is packed inside a gelatine capsule that dissolves in the stomach and is inflated through a tube. Then the tube is pulled out, allowing a self-sealing valve to keep the balloon inflated. Two or even three balloons could be placed in the patient's stomach, and after three months they are removed using a traditional endoscopic procedure. The balloon works by taking up space in the stomach, making the patient feel fuller after eating a reduced portion of food, and so reducing their calorific intake. Picture: Universal News And Sport (Scotland) 21 January 2014.

Cool? Listen, when it comes to these extreme procedures, all I can say is, doctors, do your work.

Find a better way to inspire your dangerously overweight patients to lose the pounds they have to.

Yes, everyone human deserves to keep on living and to be able to participate in the world in multi-faceted ways.

But these insane inventions only serve to beat around the bush and never address the proper issue, which is people’s habits.


Is a balloon really going to help someone go for a walk, eat a balanced diet all the time or believe they can make a change in their life on their own?

Maybe if the device were alive, and could talk to provide counseling, inspiration, emotional support and daily guidance, then, yes.

But until that robot comes, the human touch can probably provide longer-lasting success. It just actually takes more work.

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