Apollo introduces a minimally invasive gastrointestinal balloon to combat obesity that has been approved by the FDA.
Dennis McWilliams, Apollo's president and CEO, said, "the device is a sort of mid-point therapy to combat obesity, in between diet and exercise, and more invasive procedures such as gastric bypass surgery. This helps us build a suite of products for the treatment of obesity."
"Less than 1% of total population with obesity that is eligible for surgical intervention is getting treatment. This is like for cardiovascular patients waiting until a heart attack to get treated for heart disease," he added.
Apollo specializes in trans-lumenal surgery, therapeutic endoscopy, and minimally invasive devices for GI procedures. Orbera is used in about 80 countries in more than 200,000 procedures around the world and it was a part of the product line.
Deflated Orbera balloon is inserted through a patient's throat using a catheter. Then it is inflated to the size of a grapefruit and filled with saline. The procedure takes about 30 minutes under a mild sedative and the patients can go home the same day. The balloon is deflated and removed in a similar procedure to its insertion after 6 months.
"The stomach is designed to expel things; it's working really hard to push this object out. That's what leads to the time limit of these devices," said McWilliams.
"Obesity is a complex disease. A mechanical aid like a balloon can retrain them how to eat effectively. The idea is to help patients stay motivated, work through any weight-loss barriers they have and create healthy habits that will last well beyond the device's lifetime," he added.