How Intra-Gastric Balloons Can Kick-Start the Weight Loss Journey

U.S. obesity rates have continued to climb over the last 15 years. Recently, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics released striking new data showing that 38 percent of U.S. adults were obese in 2014. Nationwide, adult obesity was up from 35 percent in 2012 and 30 percent in 2003. From 2011 through 2014, an estimated 36.5 percent of Americans age 20 and older had a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30, putting them over the threshold for obesity. Efforts behind healthy eating, increased exercise, and positive lifestyle changes are important elements of the fight against this epidemic, but sometimes, a more active intervention is needed.

Intragastric balloon technology offers patients a non-surgical, incision-free intervention to kick-start weight loss. The balloon is inserted into a patient’s stomach endoscopically — through the mouth and down the esophagus. This is done while the patient is in a “twilight sleep” under mild anesthesia. The balloon is filled with saline until it’s about the size of a grapefruit, and then left in the stomach for six months to help a patient feel full and be satisfied with much smaller portions. The total program lasts 12 months and also includes monthly clinical support from program dieticians, medical staff, trainers, and psycholical professionals. The balloon acts as a catalyst to help reboot a patient’s hard drive so that after weight is lost, it can be maintained with new habits and an overall healthier lifestyle.’

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