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New Stomach Balloon Can Help Fight Obesity

Update Date: Nov 09, 2015 10:17 AM EST
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If you are obese, then try out a new solution with a stomach balloon that calls for no surgery or medical procedure, so that it can be put inside the body, HealthDay  reported.

This stomach balloon is called Elipse, and is attached to a thin catheter. The patient first swallows the balloon in a capsule. In the stomach and the capsule dissolves. The balloon then fills with 15 ounces, or half a liter, of distilled water through the catheter that is then taken out.

Now this device is "a procedureless gastric balloon. It works by filling the stomach, slowing digestion, and teaching portion control," said Elipse manufacturer Allurion Technologies.

Elipse will remain in the stomach for four months, after which it will deflate and pass out through the stool. There can be some common side effects such as vomiting and nausea spotted in other treatments too.

Patients in a study roped in 34 people from the Czech Republic and Greece, who lost about 22 pounds each, which is about 37 percent of their body weight.

However, the stomach balloon is not really a cure. It is just an aid to weight loss.

"Because patients get used to feeling full so much quicker with the device, they learn portion control and get used to eating less," study author Dr. Ram Chuttani, director of interventional gastroenterology and endoscopy at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said. "We anticipate that the improved eating habits patients develop will mean that a significant amount of the weight will stay off, even when the balloon is no longer in place."

Elipse is used to help patients who show a BMI of 27 or more, unlike other balloons treating patients with a BMI of 35 or more. Dr. John Morton, chief of bariatric and minimally invasive surgery at Stanford University, California, said it is better to introduce it early.

"We know the risk for mortality, and disease starts to edge up with a BMI of around 30," Morton said.

However, it can be several years before Elipse is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The study was presented Thursday during the Obesity Week  conference in Los Angeles, California.

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