If treating obesity was as easy as modifying one’s diet and exercising more regularly, we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic in America today. Because the causes of obesity are so complex, achieving profound and lasting weight loss often requires a multifaceted treatment approach. Today, we know that some bodies are hard-wired to regain any weight they have lost, regardless of whether the individual in question weighs 140 pounds or 400 pounds. The more pounds we shed, the more our bodies increase our hunger response, driving us to eat more and restore our prior weight. As a result, the vast majority of diets fail over the long term.
In decades past, bariatric surgery was the only way to short-circuit this cycle. By reducing the capacity of the stomach, bariatric surgery helped obese patients limit their food intake and avoid regaining weight. Like all surgeries, however, bariatric surgery is not without its risks. Hernias, stomach perforations, bowel obstructions, and other issues can all arise from having bariatric surgery. What’s more is that these problems can be difficult to correct and require further surgery. That’s why so many people are opting to try Obalon instead: This nonsurgical weight loss solution offers many of the same benefits as bariatric surgery, but without the risks.
What is Obalon?
Obalon is a system of three temporary gastric balloons that are easy to insert and remove. Obalon balloons are inserted into the stomach via the esophagus while deflated, then inflated once they are inside the stomach. After the balloons are inflated, they will take up room in the stomach to help patients feel full after eating. This helps them lose weight at a faster pace; patients who have Obalon have been shown to lose weight twice as fast as patients who rely on diet and exercise alone. Better still, Obalon is associated with greatly improved long term weight loss outcomes:
Patients have been shown to retain, on average, 89% of their weight loss after one year. (Note that these patients also maintained a healthy diet and exercised during this period.)
What to Expect with Obalon
Obalon insertion takes just 10 minutes to complete, making this the most convenient medical weight loss solution currently available. No incisions are made during the placement or removal of Obalon balloons, so patients will not experience significant post-surgical discomfort. Moreover, they are usually able to return to their normal activities within a few days. During an Obalon appointment, the patient simply swallows a capsule that contains a weight loss balloon, then a physician inflates the balloon. The patient does not have to be sedated during this process.
As mentioned above, Obalon balloons are intended to remain in place for a limited time period. After six months, they must be removed. By this time, however, most patients find that they have learned new eating habits: They’re used to preparing and eating smaller portions of food and their brained have been “trained” to associated feelings of satiety with lighter meals. This makes it easier for Obalon patients to stick to their long-term weight reduction strategy.
Obalon has been approved by the FDA and is generally very safe; less than 1% of patients experience serious side-effects. You may experience some mild abdominal pain and nausea while your body adjusts to the presence of the Obalon balloons, but these symptoms usually resolve on their own within two weeks.
Who Makes a Good Obalon Candidate?
Obalon has only been approved for use in obese patients, i.e. those with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 40 kg/m2 or greater. You must be in good overall health in order to have Obalon and you must be willing to adhere to a healthy diet and exercise program. Remember that no medical weight loss solution is intended to act alone—only by changing your lifestyle can you both achieve lasting victory against obesity and ensure that you maintain optimal health.
Ready to Win the Fight Against Obesity? Book a Consultation
If you’re obese, losing weight is one of the best things you can do to protect your physical and emotional health. The experts at Ritacca Laser Center are here to help you get there. If you’re ready to kick start your weight loss journey, contact our Vernon Hills cosmetic surgery office today. We provide surgical and nonsurgical health and aesthetic wellness solutions to patients throughout Illinois.