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Gas-Filled Balloon Capsules May Help in Obesity Treatment

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  • Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other medical conditions.
  • Swallowable gas-filled balloon capsules may help in the treatment of obesity.
  • Side effects like abdominal cramps and nausea were associated with gas-filled balloon capsules.

Gas-Filled Balloon Capsules May Help in Obesity Treatment

A research team from Stony Brooks University found gas-filled balloon capsules to be useful in treating obesity. These capsules were found to reduce about 1.9 times weight in patients than those who depend on diet, lifestyle therapy and exercises for weight loss.

The research study was presented at the ObesityWeek 2016 meeting hosted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and The Obesity Society (TOS).


The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery stated 24 million people in America to have severe obesity. 'Obesity' term usually means a Body Mass Index of above 30.

Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and other medical conditions. Obese patients have a greater risk of premature death when compared to non obese individuals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics in 2011-2014 also stated that women were found to be more obese than men.

Aurors Pryor, MD, co-author and Chief surgeon at Stony Brook University said, "The significant weight loss achieved with the Obalon 6-Month Balloon System is maintained at 12 months."

"This combination of lifestyle modification and balloon therapy provides a new low risk option for patients struggling with obesity."

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the Obalon 6-Month Balloon System in September. Gas - filled intragastric balloons were found to aid adults with obesity.

Capsule containing the balloon gets inflated through the microcathether which makes the patient's stomach feel full. This inturn would help to control the overeating habits of the obese person. The treatment procedure lasts for 6 months and around 3 balloons can be placed for three months.

The research study was conducted on 387 patients. Out of which half of them received the gas-filled balloon capsules and other half received sugar-filled sham capsules. All patients were found to follow lifestyle therapy for 25 minutes for every three weeks. Three capsules were swallowed for a period of 12 weeks by obese patients with BMI between 30 and 40.

After a period of six months, gas-filled capsules in patients were removed endoscopically.

The study findings suggested that there was a 6.81% of total weight loss in patients who took balloon capsules and 3.59% of weight loss in patients who took sugar filled sham capsules.

Six months later, about 89.5% of average weight loss was maintained after the removal of gas-filled capsules.

90.8% of patients reported abdominal cramps and nausea as side effects for gas-filled balloon capsules.

Raul J. Rosenthal, MD, ASMBS President and Chairman, Department of General Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Florida said that,"There is no magic pill for obesity, but this swallowable balloon and other intragastric balloons may offer new hope to people who otherwise would not seek treatment or not have as good a result with diet and exercise alone."

"The balloon and other technologies may help to fill the therapeutic gaps between diet and exercise and medical therapy, and medical therapy and surgery, where the gaps are quite large." he added.

Source: Medindia

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