Would You Swallow a Balloon to Lose Weight?

Imagine, if you will, a world in which you quickly swallow a pill and end up at a healthy weight within just a few months. It may sound futuristic but, in actual fact, that is pretty much the direction in which the gastric balloon is going. The gastric balloon itself has been around for nearly 40 years, but medical science never stands still and improvements are continuously being sought. The latest one, therefore, is the gastric balloon pill.


What Is the Gastric Balloon Pill?

At present, a gastric balloon is inserted in a patient’s stomach through an endoscopy tube. This is a painless procedure that can be completed in just 15 minutes or so. The balloon is then filled with a saline solution, effectively filling up the stomach space so that people can eat less. As a result, weight loss is inevitable. The balloon should only remain in place for six months, after which it is once again taken out through an endoscopy. Some people use the balloon to give them a kick start on a weight loss journey and achieve their target weight naturally after that. Other people have the balloon inserted because they are so overweight that they cannot go through gastric surgery. After wearing the balloon for six months, they should be healthy enough to cope with the full procedure.

As such, the new gastric balloon pill is not so different. But the big difference is that it can literally be swallowed, after which it self inflates. Interestingly, there seems to be very little information about how the balloon will be removed, with the general consensus being that an endoscopy will be required. That said, some say that the balloon is slowly absorbed by the body itself, so that no surgery at all, no matter how non-invasive, is required.

Will it Be Any Good?

This particular weight loss pill is not yet on the market, and the jury is out on whether it ever will or not. There are some significant concerns with it, including the fact that it is likely that an endoscopy will be required to remove the balloon, which means it doesn’t even make the procedure all that less risky. Furthermore, although clinical trials are taking place, there have been no results yet to demonstrate that the pill will be truly efficient and that it is also safe.

The greatest concern for nutritionists, bariatric surgeons, and other health professionals, however, is that the pill can become a kind of miracle method for people who simply want to lose a bit of weight. The same people who think nothing of the damage done to their body by crash dieting may be tempted to take the pill, perhaps even several times. Bariatric surgeons all over the world have been highly enthusiastic about gastric balloons. When completed with proper consultation by an experience surgeon such as those at Stop Obesity For Life, it is a great way to kick start weight loss. But it is equally important to remain realistic and accept that all bariatric procedures are only for those in real need.

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