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.
You’ll normally be home within two or three hours. Most people need little or no time off work.
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)1,2 but are fearful of surgery, fed up with diets, pills and other weight loss programmes that didn’t work.
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 When the tube is withdrawn, the balloon is automatically sealed.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 Whilst mildly sedated, an endoscope is used to deflate it before it’s withdrawn.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 BMI lower than 27.
1. Sallet JA, Marchesini JB, Paiva OS et al. Brazilian Multicentre Study of the Intragastric Balloon. Obesity Surgery 2004; 14:991-998.
2. Genco A, Bruni T, Doldi SB et al. BioEnterics Intragastric Balloon: The Italian Experience with 2,515 Patients. Obesity Surgery 2005; 15:1161-1164.