The introduction of bariatric surgery has revolutionized the treatment of obesity and its associated comorbidities. It is highly recommended when diet, exercise and medicines fail to bring about significant weight loss in the severely obese (BMI ≥ 40 or BMI ≥ 35 with at least two related conditions). To evade the invasiveness and complications associated with surgery, patients can now opt for a new non-invasive approach called the ORBERA® Intragastric Balloon System, which promotes weight loss by controlling food portions, and encouraging you to better maintain your lost weight with diet and exercise.
ORBERA is indicated for adults with a BMI of 30-40 kg/m2 unable to achieve sufficient weight loss through diet and exercise. The ORBERA device consists of a soft deflated balloon that is introduced into the stomach through your mouth using an endoscope, under mild sedation. Once the balloon enters your stomach, saline is injected to inflate it to about the size of a grapefruit. The endoscope is then removed, leaving the balloon in the stomach. This is an outpatient procedure that takes about 20-30 minutes. This is the first stage of the treatment.
The inflated balloon takes up space in your stomach, restricting its capacity to hold food. This makes you feel full faster, limits your intake of food and leads to a drastic loss of weight.
The balloon is retained in the stomach for six months, during which time further weight loss is encouraged through a well-monitored diet and exercise regime planned by a team of experts. The device is then removed through a non-surgical process, and the next six months is spent continuing with the diet and exercises. This is the second stage of treatment. This method not only helps you lose weight with the restricted food, but helps develop a healthy lifestyle to keep the weight off.
The ORBERA® Intragastric Balloon System is especially helpful for those battling the scale with yo-yo dieting and exercises. Yo-yo dieting happens especially in those with serious weight issues, where weight regain is common and sustained weight loss is very difficult. The body does not accept sudden change and continues to maintain many physiological mechanisms, which dominate all efforts to lose weight. These mechanisms fight all odds to keep the body weight at its familiar ‘set point’, which is pretty high in obese individuals. In order for weight loss treatments to work long-term, this set-point should be lowered and a deficit in energy should be created.
Studies have shown that by restricting the capacity of the stomach and in turn the amount of food intake, and by promoting satiety, which in turn changes the set point, the ORBERA procedure can bring about drastic weight loss. While the ORBERA procedure initiates the physiological processes in the body to support weight loss, a continued diet and exercise program guided by experts can help change the mentality of eating that has developed over the years.
At Greater Houston Gastroenterology, we provide specialized services and treatments for a wide range of gastrointestinal conditions. Our dedicated clinical staff and physician assistants are available to assist in delivering high-quality treatment and expert care. As the largest GI group in the greater Houston area, we offer 17 locations for your convenience.