The best non surgical weight loss treatment :intragastric balloon

You are tired of weight loss programs that are being talked about all around but yielding no results for you. You have exercised, taken pills, used creams, dieted, and surgery is obviously not an option for you . Or maybe you just want to lose weight but don’t want to go through all the trouble of losing weight. Now consider the best non surgical weight loss treatment :intragastric balloon.Thus if you have a BMI of 30-40 kg.

There are different types of intragastric balloons out there. With three of them being FDA approved,namely :Orbera, Obalon and ReShape duo. Well in this article, in addition to the  FDA approved intragastric balloons I will also be looking at those that are still under clinical investigation namely :Spatz, Heliosphere bag, Silimed balloon and Elipse.As the easy way of losing weight.

Intragastric balloon:best non surgical weight loss treatment is performed by a specialist called Gastroentorologist on patients with weight problem . It is a minimal invasive, non-surgical treatment.It is inserted into the patient stomach through the mouth in different forms, either capsule or deflated balloon . It is then inflated once properly positioned inside the stomach.Once inflated it occupies some space inside the stomach and trigger hormones associated with satiety so the patient will feel full and as a result eat less.

Intragastric balloon remains in a patient’s stomach for either 6 or 12 months depending on the patient’s circumstances or type of a balloon. Now let’s look at these types of intragastric balloons as mentioned above:

Orbera intragastric balloon 

This is a most frequently used intragastric balloon.About 220000 treatments has been successfully performed in 20 years. It is 3x more effective in weight loss than exercise and diet alone.This balloon is made of elastic durable silicone to counter rupture. It is filled-up with 450-700ml of mythelene-mixed saline and it is a size of a grapefruit. It can be left inside the stomach for 6 or 12 months.

Orbera weight loss balloon is one of the three intragastric balloons  approved by FDA. Once the deflated balloon has been put inside the stomach it is inflated with a mythelene-mixed saline using a syringe or a catheter that is thereafter detached from the balloon.

Endoscopy is first done before the balloon can be inserted inside the stomach to determine the safety of doing so.The patient is also mildly sedated and comforted before the procedure is performed.

The process takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete after which roughly two hours later a patient can head back home to begin with their new lifestyle of reduced food portions.

It is removed when the time is up by endoscopic needle aspiration of intragastric fluids and the balloon itself is removed with a snare or a grasper.

Negative side effects

Obera balloon like any other thing in life does have some negative side effects. Those are 33,7% pain incidents reported, 29% nausea incidents, 18,3% GERD incidents, 2% gastric ulcers incidents that heal up after the removal of the balloon, 1,4% balloon migration, 0,3% small bowel obstruction incidents, 0,1 perforation incidents,
Serious adverse complications are uncommon with Obera balloon, hence it is regarded as no1 world’s safest, effective and easiest intragastric balloon.

ReShape duo Balloon

This is a doubled kind of intragastric balloon. It is filled-up with 900ml of mythelene-mixed saline.Since it is doubled, it minimizes IGB complications associated with deflation or ruptures in that when one part of the balloon ruptures in rare cases of course, then the other part is able to sustain the location of the device inside the stomach. This type of balloon is kept in a stomach for only 6 months.

ReShape duo balloon is also advanced to the stomach through the patient’s mouth. This procedure is carried out with the patient mildly sedated and comfortable. It takes 30 minutes.Endoscopy is first carried out in order to have a full view of patient’s stomach.

Negative side effects

According to World Journal of Gastroenterology there are some complications associated with this type of intragastric balloon.This journal has reported nausea, abdominal pains and vomiting as being common with this type of balloon but decreasing rapidly with medical management.

The journal further reported a 6% intragastric balloon deflation with no balloon migrations as a result due to the duality of the balloon. Since it is reversal, 9,1% early removal occurred due to some intolerance. Some very minimal cases of gastric ulcers were also reported as per the journal.

Elipse Balloon 

With this type of intragastric balloon there is no endoscopy needed because this is a swallowable capsule , self-draining and naturally expelled intragastric balloon.The balloon is covered in vegetarian shell. Balloon placement inside the stomach is confirmed by fluoroscopy. And it is filled-up with saline fluid from outside,using a catheter that is attached to it.

It is inflated with 550ml fluid which degrades after 4 months allowing the balloon to empty naturally. The deflated balloon is then excreted via natural excretion.Therefore it is a non-procedural intragastric balloon.Studies carried out revealed that it has an effectiveness of 10-15% weight loss, thus the highest weight loss being 13kg.And the BMI loss of 4,9kg per square meter is achievable through this type of balloon.

Negative side effects

In one study that was carried out of 135 patients eight patients had their balloons removed earlier due to vomiting, intolerance and deflation.Out of 127 patients studied balloon deflation resulted in diarrhea to 18 patients and colicky abdominal pains to 29 patients . Also out of 135 patients mentioned above three patients experienced small bowel obstruction due to balloon migration, which was corrected surgically.

Spatz Balloon

This is the adjustable silicone type of intragastric balloon. Like other intragastric balloons it is inserted inside the stomach and get filled-up with a saline fluid. It is filled-up endospically using catheter. The volume of the balloon can be modified and adjusted from 400-800ml to cater for the patient’s tolerance and improved weight reduction.

It is permissible to be inside the stomach for 12 months.Balloon volume adjustment is done from outside, endospically using catheter. In one pilot trial that was carried out by Machytka et al. for 12 months on 18 patients, it was found that in 24 weeks patients had lost 15,6 kg weight and in 52 weeks they had lost 24,4 kg weight.

Negative side effects

According to a report from Brooks et al. out of 73 patients, 3 suffered from catheter impaction and the catheters were extracted through surgery. According to Russ et al. long-term issues of severe complications and high immortality in this type of intragastric balloon were reported.

Obalon Balloon

Obalon balloon is kept in a swallowable gelatin capsule with a thin catheter attached to it. Once swallowed, the capsule disintegrates inside the stomach and let out the balloon. Thereafter fluoroscopy is performed to locate the position of the balloon inside the stomach, and then the balloon is filled with 250ml of air from the gas canister using a catheter,from outside.As already mentioned above it is FDA approved.

It takes 10 minutes to complete the process. The whole term takes 6 months. The Obalon physician will let you swallow the capsule while he holds the the catheter. The total number of balloons to be inserted in the patient’s stomach is 3.One balloon each month for first 3 months and then the three of them will remain in the patient’s stomach for the remaining last three months. Each of these balloons weigh less than a penny coin.

Patients has lost 2x more weight with this type of intragastric balloon compared to diet and exercise alone. Although you still need to follow a dietary and exercise program during this treatment. And also continue with the said programs after the balloons has been removed, in order to keep weight loss for a long time.

Negative side effects

Negative side effects reported are nausea and abdominal pains, with serious adverse effects being 0,3%.

Heliosphere Bag

This type of balloon is filled-up with air and it is a silicone. It has a volume of 550cm cubed . It weighs a little less than 30g.The clinical results has shown a weight loss of between 9 and 24 kg,since it is still under clinical investigation. It is required to remain in a patient stomach for 6 months.

It is filled up with 900ml air using a catheter, deflated using a syringe and extracted using forceps when 6 months is up.

Negative side effects

It has been reported that out of 670 patients, 12 to 16% of patients experienced vomiting for eight days and the rest experienced vomiting for three days.

Silimed Balloon

This one is a spherical transparent silicone balloon wrapped in a thin sheath of silicone. It is inserted into the stomach endospically. And then it is filled with saline, contrast and mythelene-blue. Contrast is added for the better radiographic visualization of the balloon inside the stomach.

The balloon remains inside the stomach for 6 months after which it is deflated using a catheter endospically, grabbed with a snare and removed via an overtube. Carvalho et al. reported a mean weight loss of 11.3kg and mean BMI drop of 3.9kg per square meter in 14 patients within a 6 months of implantations.

Negative side effects

Epigastric pains were reported in 21% of patients and also unplanned balloon deflation towards the end of 6 months. But there was no migration reported as a result of early deflation. And the CE certificates for all the silimed products were revoked in 2015 due to the quality control issue with particle contamination. However Silimed balloon is still used in some other parts of the world.


In concluding, it should be noted that as intragastric balloons are meant to make you eat smaller portions of food and get used to that, you should still stick to nutritional dietary program and exercise programs to keep your weight loss long beyond,intragastric balloon treatment and live healthier. 

You can therefore not leave everything to the balloon, as we all know that responsibility is a pillar of our lives. And you should further be more cautious when it comes to those intragastric balloons that are still under clinical investigation. But you obviously will consult with relevant specialists since I am not one.

Your input pertaining the topic discussed in this article will be dearly appreciated, you can leave it here or at any of my social networks, thus PINTEREST, TWITTER OR FACEBOOK.


10 thoughts on “The best non surgical weight loss treatment :intragastric balloon

  1. Okay, I had no idea this was a thing. I thought we still only had the band option. This is awesome and I’m so glad there is now an alternative. I’ve had a few people in my life get the bands or whatever and the whole surgery process sucks and for some doesn’t help all that much. I’m going to have to share this!

    1. Hi Leina, It is my greatest pleasure that I could be of a help to you and others out there and be able to share this great information with you. Please do share. Thank you very much for your precious time. 

  2. Hello! To be honest, I didn’t know this kind of stuff existed, and I can’t really say I like it. It just doesn’t seem safe to me to have this balloon inside your stomach. I imagine that dosesn’t feel very natural. 

    I understand that it makes less space in your stomach for the food,but it still keeps your stomach the same size, so I think when you take the balloon out, your stomach is going to need as much food as before, am I right? So even if you loose some weight you will probably get it back in short time. 

    I don’t have much experience with weight loss, but I think the goal is to make your stomach smaller so it needs less food.  I’ve had a few friends with weight loss problems, who have tried many things, but in the end – just getting yourself to eat less and exercise sometimes is it best possible solution!

    Anyway, thank you for this review, all the best!

    1. Hi Majam, I understand your scepticism since this is a new thing to most of us. But according to my understanding although it might initially feel unnatural to have a balloon in your stomach, it will soon feel normal judging by the way these balloons are so light. You will feel no weight inside your stomach. 

      With regard to your stomach maintaining the same size :the trick here is not only about the space inside the stomach being reduced but is also about chemical reactions that lead to a changed food eating mentality. Your body and mind will get used to smaller portions of food. Which means if you follow your physician’s advices and some moderate exercise after the removal of the balloon, you are bound to keep your new weight for the longest time. 

      Yes you are right in saying that voluntary less eating and exercising is a perfect solution for weight loss but it does not work for everyone hence studies reveal that these balloons are 2-3 x more effective in weight loss than exercise and diet alone. 

      Thanks a lot Majam, I appreciate your input. Keep well! 

  3. Hey nice article you have there, your thoughts are indeed invaluable.  It is important to note that starting the day after your balloon you can start drinking protein shakes and other calorie free, non-carbonated beverages such as water, Crystal Light, and sugar free substance. Other liquid food can be included such as low fat, strained soups, non dairy milks or skim milk

    1. There you are Edah!! it is clear from your comment that you know enough about this thing of intragastric balloons and now you are helping me achieve my goal of helping people with obesity. Very good Edah, well and enough said.

      Your input well appreciated 

  4. Hello there, thanks for sharing this masterpiece of information here, i must confess i really did enjoyed going through your review as this is exactly what my wife has been talking about, but she couldn’t decide on which she would use, i think i will be sharing this detailed information with her so she can go through it and decide which is best for her.

    1. Hi Philebur, I am glad that I could be of help to your family. That is what I strive for. Please sit down, you and your lovely wife and decide on the balloon that you think is best suited for her. But please, do involve qualified specialists. That will help a great deal. Your wife will achieve weight of her dreams. 

      I wish you well in your endeavor 


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    1. Hi Skuchmane, I thank you for taking time to read and comment on my article. Your comment really means a lot to me. It makes me to put even more effort. Keep on visiting my site to see some more and I will do the same. 

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