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Obalon is a new weight loss treatment in the UK. This innovative treatment, which is available to those with a BMI of 27 or greater, is discreet, non-invasive and can be administered quickly and painlessly in as little as 30 minutes.

If you've struggled to lose weight, the Obalon option offers a way into healthy eating habits in the long-term and significant weight loss in the short-term.

Why you might need it

Being overweight has a significant impact on your health - both physically and mentally. It can lead to low self esteem, limit your involvement in sports or other activities that could help you regain fitness, prevent you from joining in family fun and lead to time off work through illness or extreme tiredness.

Research has shown the average weight loss of Obalon users is around 8kg, about half the participants’ excess weight. It is only available to people with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or more.

Obalon is the first gastric balloon that you simply swallow. It’s quick and painless, with the procedure taking as little as 30 minutes and can help you lose the kilos relatively quickly. Once inflated inside you, it grows to the size of an apple and works by making you feel fuller faster.

By following a healthy, balanced diet at the same time, it can help you achieve the best possible weight loss results.

Obalon is a customisable weight loss system and can be adapted to your particular physical condition and weight loss goals. You and your doctor can decide whether you should have one, two or three of the balloons.

While everybody loses weight at slightly different rates, most people find that two balloons give them the best result.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-speciality surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.

Before your treatment

We're here to listen and help you every step of the way. You will have a formal consultation with the consultant of your choice. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and any concerns you might have.

Your consultant will discuss with you if they feel any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out. 

Together, you will discuss the right number of balloons for you. Most people find that two balloons give them the best results. If you do decide to have more than one balloon, you’ll swallow the second and third at monthly intervals throughout a 12 week treatment plan.

We're here to listen and help you every step of the way as you take action to get the best out of life.

Preparing for your treatment

You can help get the most out of this procedure by trying to eat fewer calories and gently increasing your exercise between seeing your consultant and your operation. If you can start these changes before the balloon is inserted, you'll be used to the idea of eating less and exercising more.

We’ve tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible – from tracking your appointments online to offering you ongoing medical support after your surgery.

Once you’ve booked your treatment, your consultant will give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your procedure.Your treatment may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it’s important to follow your consultant’s advice. It's natural to feel anxious before hospital treatment, but knowing what to expect can help. Please raise any concerns or questions with your consultants or nurse so you feel comfortable and in control. We're here to help every step of the way.

The procedure

We understand that you might feel anxious in the run up to the procedure. Our caring and professional staff will be there to support you and answer your questions.

The treatment takes around 30 minutes and you won’t need an anaesthetic or sedation, unless you request it. You simply swallow the capsule containing the balloon and then drink a glass of water. The capsule will have a tiny tube attached to inflate the balloon when it is released on reaching your stomach.

Your consultant will use an X-ray machine to confirm the balloon’s position and inflate it with gas through the tube.

After the balloon grows to the size of an apple, your consultant will release it and pull the tube back up through your mouth.

Once Obalon has been swallowed and has been inflated in your stomach, your brain will be sent signals that create the sensation of feeling full, faster, reducing your food intake.

After the first capsule is swallowed it is left in the stomach for 30 days, after which a second balloon is swallowed if needed, a further third balloon can be swallowed after a further 30 days. After a total of 12 weeks all balloons are removed via a short endoscopy (a telescopic procedure), taking a few minutes and using light sedation if needed to remove it.

You can usually go home immediately.

Aftercare

You can get back to your daily activities straight after swallowing the balloon.


Medication

You might feel cramping or discomfort around your stomach as your body gets used to the Obalon balloon. During this settling-down period you might also experience some nausea and vomiting. We’ll prescribe medication to relieve these symptoms and they should only last a few days.


Eating

You’ll probably be able to eat most foods after a couple of days but for the first day you should only drink clear liquids such as water, juice and thin soup. You can move on to soft food on the second day.

We’ll give you the advice and support you need to make healthier food choices and you should listen to your stomach when it’s telling you it’s full.

After 12 weeks your consultant will use a thin tube called an endoscope to remove the balloon. This only takes a few minutes and we’ll offer you a light sedative before the procedure.


End results

There’s nothing like seeing weight loss to encourage you to continue with your new healthy eating patterns. You can expect to start losing weight within days if you’re following our expert advice on healthy food options and not eating when your stomach feels full.

On average people lose around half their surplus weight during the 12 week programme.

Obalon can give you a real boost to your weight loss attempt, but in order to see long lasting results, you should continue with the changes you have made to your lifestyle and dietary habits to maintain your weight loss.


Looking after you

Even after you’ve finished the three month Obalon treatment, we’re still looking after you every step of the way.

On rare occasions, people have complications that go beyond the expected stomach discomfort and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms – severe bloating and stomach pain– call us straight away. Your consultant will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.

If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.

You can trust Spire Cardiff Hospital to provide you with a single, fixed price* so there are no surprises. And, through our carefully chosen partner you can even be considered for interest free finance.

We’re here to help you with making these important choices, so you’re then free to concentrate on your treatment and on getting back to being you.

Important: Please read Spire’s terms and conditions for full details of what’s included and excluded in your fixed price* when paying for yourself.

* Zebra Finance Ltd trading as Zebra Health Finance , Lincoln House, Stephensons Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6LY. 

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.