The prevalence of obesity in Denmark has increased significantly in recent decades. 47% of the adult population are overweight (BMI≥25).
About 13% of the population are severely overweight (BMI≥30). Obesity is often associated with disability and a predisposition to other diseases, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases, osteoarthritis and sleep apnea. In the United States, it accounts for 18% of deaths among people aged 40 and 85.
There are no easy solutions to the problem. Diet and exercise are very important, but that alone is not always enough to maintain a significant and sustained weight loss. Although bariatric surgery results in sustainable weight loss, only a very small proportion of people with high BMI undergo it.
The reasons for this include anxiety about surgery and possible complications as well as the fact that only a minority of patients with obesity qualify for surgery. Therefore, the challenge lies in the treatment of obesity in those where diet and exercise are not enough, and who also do not meet the conditions for obesity surgery or do not want it. Most overweight people actually fall into this category.
Thus, intragastric balloon is an intermediate solution between lifestyle change and bariatric surgery for patients with a BMI between 27 and 40 kg/m² with excellent results especially in combination with lifestyle changes.
The idea of using an endoscopically placed intragastric balloon to treat obesity was first described in the early 1980s. An air-filled polyurethane device, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States in 1985, was later withdrawn due to a not so clear effect and a high incidence rate of complications. Since then, several generations and varieties have entered the market. Few of them have been used and approved in the United States and the European Union.
The new generation of intragastric balloons are made of silicone. The balloons are inserted into the abdomen endoscopically (using binoculars). Once its position is secured, the balloon is filled with saline up to 650 cm3 through a valve. The procedure is painless and takes less than 20 minutes. The balloon is removed either a year or six months later depending on the type.
Many patients experience nausea and discomfort in the top of the abdomen for the first 4-5 days after inserting the balloon, but these side effects can usually be easily controlled with medication.
Serious side effects that require surgical intervention are extremely rare and there are only a few recorded cases.
The balloon helps with weight loss by reducing the capacity and speed of the stomach. But lifestyle changes including changing eating habits, exercise and healthy eating are essential to maintaining the weight loss achieved.
In non-randomized trials, an average weight loss of 17.8 kg was observed over 6 months with intragastric balloon, dietary guidance, and exercise. In a recent randomized study in severely obese individuals with metabolic syndrome, weight loss of 14.4 kg was achieved on average with the balloon, diet and exercise compared to 5.1 kg with diet and exercise alone.
The procedure is safe and fully reversible.
Am I A Candidate?
All people with a BMI over 27 kg/m² (click here to calculate yours) and a high fat percentage and who have tried diet change and exercise without success can be candidates.
People who suffer from osteoarthritis or back pain and cannot exercise are perfect candidates for this treatment.
Women who are trying to get pregnant and want a quick weight loss are also typical candidates.
Weight loss can also help you get better control of high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
Are Stomach Balloons For Me?
If you need help controlling your appetite or are looking for another way to kickstart your weight loss, then the Gastriball® controlled weight loss program may be able to help you lose weight and achieve the lifestyle goals you desire. The Gastriball® controlled weight loss program does not require surgery.
Note that the GastriBall® weight loss program can provide different results from person to person.
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