Orbera™ Weight Loss Balloon


If you are one of the thousands of people who have tried dieting the ‘traditional’ way without success, then you may need help of a different kind.

There is another option for people who want to lose weight but don’t want or qualify for more drastic measures like surgery. If you have a BMI of 27* or more, Orbera™ could be the ideal solution for you.

What is Orbera™?

Orbera™ is a soft, saline filled silicone balloon that is placed in the stomach for six months. The balloon is designed to partially fill your stomach, giving you a feeling of fullness. In medical terms this is called ‘satiety’. It will aim to make you feel less hungry, and you should also feel fuller more quickly after small meals.

And because you should feel more satiated, you should find it easier to make the changes to your diet and lifestyle that will help you keep the weight off once the balloon is removed. Orbera™ does not involve surgery nor does it require long-term drug therapy. It is placed and removed during a simple 20-30 minute ‘endoscopic’ procedure, during which you will be mildly sedated.

Once the balloon is in place, can provide you with dietary advice and support to help you make the changes to your diet and lifestyle that are necessary to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Orbera™ is a simple tool that is designed to give you the extra help you need to adjust to a healthier lifestyle.

What do the doctors say about Orbera™?

Mr Alan Li and Mr Bart Decadt Consultant Weight loss Surgeons at Spire Manchester Hospital said “We believe that when used as part of a lifestyle improvement programme Orbera™ can help patients achieve significant weight loss when they have previously struggled to achieve their weight loss goals with diets alone”

Dr Andrew Robinson Consultant Gastroenterologist at Spire Manchester Hospital said “Orbera system experts from across the globe recently conducted a study with patients who had had the balloon. The results showed that 87% of patients were satisfied to very satisfied with the balloon and that 85% of patients would recommend the balloon to others(1)

How much weight will I lose?

Patients treated with Orbera™ can usually expect to have significant weight loss during the six months the balloon is in place.

A published European clinical study (2005) of 2,515 patients using Orbera™ found the average weight loss after 6 months was 20kg(2).

Remember, the amount of weight you lose and how long you maintain that weight loss will depend on how well you adopt lifestyle changes related to eating and exercise. Spire is able to provide dietary and lifestyle advice to help you make the changes needed.

How does Orbera™ work?

Orbera™ consists of a soft, expandable intragastric (inside the stomach) balloon that is temporarily inserted into the stomach to create a feeling of early and prolonged fullness after meals – a foundation for weight loss. The device itself is a soft silicone intragastric balloon that is inserted (without surgery) in a deflated state into the stomach and then inflated with sterile salt water (saline) through a self-sealing valve once it enters the stomach. The intragastric balloon will remain in place for a maximum of six months. In a small number of cases, patients may not be able to tolerate the balloon for the full 6 month period and when this happens, it will need to be removed early.

The intragastric balloon aims to provide a 6-month kick-start to healthy weight loss and may be the ideal solution if you are looking to lose 22 - 33lbs (10-15kgs) but are fearful of surgery, fed up with diets, pills and other weight loss programmes that didn’t work.

Obera balloon procedure 

About the procedure

You’ll be lightly sedated whilst your clinician uses an endoscope to pass a deflated gastric balloon into your stomach. Once in place, it’s injected with sterile salt water (saline) via a small tube. When the tube is withdrawn, the balloon is automatically sealed. The whole process normally takes around 20-30 minutes.

You’ll rest for 1-2 hours for observation before being discharged. You can then be taken home. For the first few days, as your stomach adjusts to the balloon, you’ll almost certainly feel uncomfortable. You may well experience nausea, bloating, diarrhoea and cramping. These side-effects are temporary and normal. If necessary, your consultant can prescribe suitable medication to help manage them.

Having the balloon removed is very simple. Whilst mildly sedated, an endoscope is used to deflate it before it’s withdrawn. You’ll normally be home within two or three hours. Most people need little or no time off work.

Important note: A blue dye is normally added to the saline that is injected into the balloon, so that in the rare event that the balloon were to leak, you would know immediately by the change in colour of your urine. If this were to happen, you should contact your Orbera™ clinician immediately so the balloon can be safely removed.

Is Orbera™ right for me?

If you have a BMI of 27* or more, Orbera™ could be the ideal solution for you.

Whilst Orbera™ does not require surgery, any medical procedure requires careful thought and consideration. Moreover Orbera™ is not going to be for everyone, your doctor will be able to give you a much more accurate health assessment based on your BMI and other relevant factors and will ultimately determine whether or not you are suitable for treatment.

In addition, there are certain medical reasons for which you may not be eligible for treatment with Orbera™. These may include:

Previous history of upper gastro-intestinal surgery, obstruction, adhesive peritonitis or large hiatus hernia
Severe renal, hepatic or pulmonary disease diagnosis
Chronic, long-term steroid treatment
Unwillingness to adopt the dietary habits critical to the success of the therapy
Drug or alcohol addiction in the last 12 months
Pregnancy or breast feeding


 * Orbera™ is not licensed for use in patients with a BMI lower than 27
1. Hale B et al, Understanding patient perception of the Bioenterics Intragastric System for Weight Reduction, ISPOR 2008 Annual European Congress, Athens, Greece
2. Reference: Genco A, Bruni T, Doldi SB et al. BioEnterics Intragastric Balloon: The Italian Experience with 2,515 Patients. Obesity Surgery 2005; 15:1161-1164