PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a new way to lose weight, and it doesn’t involve surgery or drugs. It is called ORBERA, an intragastric Balloon that takes up room in the stomach allowing obese patients to adapt to smaller, more healthy portion sizes. Consequently, patients are losing weight.
“A month ago, these pants would’ve been super tight on me,” Susan Mangler explained. Mangler has lost 21 pounds in a month thanks to a temporary balloon in her stomach. “It basically prevents you from becoming hungry,” she explained.
Dr. Robert Bailey with Hillmont G.I. is the first in the area to use the ORBERA Gastric Balloon to help people lose weight. “What we do is we place it down the mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach,” Dr. Bailey explained. Once the narrow catheter is inside the stomach, the balloon is filled with 600 CC’s of saline, and the endoscope is removed. “It is big, your stomach is pretty big as well — it takes up about half of your stomach,” he explained.
“What this is going to do is give you a jump start,” Mangler explained of the balloon. Mangler who is 56 has struggled with her weight since she quit smoking. Then, she broke her ankle and developed arthritis. “This whole journey of I’d lose 2 lbs, then nothing, I’d gain 30 back — I just hit a brick wall,” she revealed.
At Hillmont, Susan is also working with diet counselors, including a trainer. She has been walking and getting into good habits so she can continue to lose weight once the balloon is deflated and removed in 6 months. It took 9 minutes for the balloon to be placed. Susan was mildly sedated and asleep and then ready to start her new journey.
“What the studies show is that people lose about 10 percent of their total body weight and between 30 and 40 percent excess weight within the first 6 months. Susan, now excited to get on the scale and keep up with new habits that include eating a lot less. “I actually look at it like a healthy lifestyle change,” she said.
The FDA approved gastric balloon costs 8,500 dollars, which includes the year of weight loss counseling and isn’t covered by insurances yet. For more information on the ORBERA Gastric Balloon procedure visit https://www.orbera.com/how-it-works.