In Denmark, the existence of obesity has risen significantly within recent decades.
47% of the adult population are overweight (BMI ≥ 25).
Around 13% of the population are severely overweight (BMI ≥ 30). Obesity is associated with functional impairment and disposition toward other disease, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, osteoarthritis and sleep apnoea. In the USA it is responsible for 18 percent of deaths among persons in the ages 40 to 85.
There are no easy solutions to the problem. Diet and exercise are very important, but are not always enough to maintain significant and persistent weight loss. Even though obesity surgery leads to permanent weight loss, there are only a very small number of persons with a high BMI who undergo it.
The reasons for this include, anxiety for surgery and any complications and the fact that only a minority of patients with obesity are qualified for surgery. Therefore, the challenge lies in treatment of fatness and obesity in those, where diet and exercise are not enough, as they either do not fulfil the conditions for obesity surgery or do not want it. Most overweight people actually belong in this category.
Therefore, the intragastric balloon constitutes an intermediate solution between lifestyle changing and obesity surgery for patients with a BMI of 27 to 40 kg/m² with excellent results, particularly in combination with lifestyle changes.
The idea of using an endoscopically placed intragastric balloon for treatment of obesity was first described in the beginning of the 1980’s. An air filled polyurethane unit, which was approved by the American Food and Drug Administration in 1985, was later withdrawn due to an unclear effect and high occurrence of complications. Since then, several generations and variants have come on the market. The fewest of them have been put into use and been approved in the USA and EU
The new generation of intragastric balloons are made of silicone. The balloon is inserted in the stomach endoscopically (using an endoscope). When the placement is secured, the balloon is then filled up with saline solution up to 650 cm3 through a valve. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and takes less then 20 minutes. The balloon is either removed after one year or after six months, depending on the type.
Many patients experience nausea and discomfort in the top of the stomach the first 4-5 days after insertion of the balloon, but these side effects can normally be controlled using medication.
Severe side effect that require surgical intervention are extremely rare and only a few cases of this have been recorded.
The balloon helps with weight loss through the decreased capacity and speed of the stomach, but lifestyle changes, including changes in eating habits, exercise and healthy eating, are decisive for maintaining the achieved weight loss.
In non-randomised studies an average weight loss of 17.8 kg could be observed during the course of 6 months with an intragastric balloon, dietary guidance and exercise. In a recently randomised study in severely obese persons with metabolic syndrome, an average weight loss of 14.4 kg was achieved using the balloon, dietary guidance and exercise, compared with 5.1 mg with dietary guidance and exercise alone. You can read more about GastriBall’s scientifically documented effects here!
The procedure is safe and fully reversible.
AM I A CANDIDATE?
All persons with a BMI over 27 kg/m² and a high fat percentage who have tried losing weight through a change in diet and exercise, but without success, can be candidates.
People who suffer from osteoarthritis or back pain and who cannot exercise enough to become slim are perfect candidates for this treatment.
Women who are trying to become pregnant and want fast weight loss are also typical candidates.
Weight loss can also help to gain better control of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
IS THE GASTRIC BALLOON RIGHT FOR ME?
If you need help controlling your appetite or seek another way of kick-starting your weight loss, then GastriBall® controlled weight loss programme may be able to help you lose weight and achieve the lifestyle goals you want. A GastriBall® regulated weight loss programme does not require surgery.
Note that the GastriBall® weight loss programme results can vary from person to person.