Adult obesity is now one of the biggest public health challenges in the United States. According to the CDC, over one-third of the American adult population is obese, which equates to nearly 80 million people. There are now various ways to tackle obesity, but the weight loss balloon is one of the newer developments on the American market. Learn more about this revolutionary way to lose weight, and find out if the gastric balloon is right for you with the four following crucial facts.
You don't need surgery to have a weight loss balloon
Weight loss surgery can have a pretty traumatic effect on the body, and if you are too obese, a surgeon may refuse to carry out this procedure. As such, a lot of people choose to lose weight without undergoing a surgical procedure. With the weight loss balloon, doctors administer everything through your mouth.
Patients swallow the weight loss balloon in a capsule or in its smallest, deflated form. To make it easier to swallow the device, doctors will first numb the throat with a special spray and give you some muscle relaxing medication.
When the balloon reaches your stomach, a doctor will immediately fill the device with a special solution via a catheter attached to the balloon. The doctor then removes the catheter, and the balloon seals itself with a special seal. From here, the balloon floats freely in your stomach, without any form of surgical intervention.
The weight loss balloon isn't right for everyone
Some people have medical conditions that may aggravate or reduce the effectiveness of a gastric balloon. In some cases, the conditions can cause dangerous side effects, so you must always talk to your doctor before agreeing to install one of these devices.
People should not use a weight loss balloon if they:
- Have an inflammatory disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract.
- Have any conditions that cause gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Have previously had bariatric surgery.
You should also avoid the device if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. People who use aspirin and other anti-coagulants should also not use a weight loss balloon.
The weight loss balloon is not a permanent solution
Full bariatric surgery is sometimes a solution for severely obese people who may find it difficult to lose weight in other ways. Bariatric surgery involves one of several procedures that permanently decrease your body's food intake by shrinking or removing part of the digestive system. While patients must also make lifestyle changes, you cannot undo this type of surgery.
A weight loss balloon can only offer a temporary solution. The balloon remains in place in your digestive system for around six months. During this time, the inflated balloon suppresses your appetite and forces you to eat less, allowing you to lose weight. Doctors won't leave the balloon in place for longer periods, as the stomach's acid can weaken and deflate the balloon. After a doctor removes the device, you must continue to adopt a healthier lifestyle to make sure you don't gain weight again.
The balloon is just the start of the process
Weight loss balloons are only effective in the long-term when you make other lifestyle changes, so all patients undergo an intensive support program for at least a year. During this time, a support team will offer tips on healthy eating, as well as advice about how you can control portion sizes on an ongoing basis.
People who can benefit from a weight loss balloon must also normally get plenty of exercise. Exercise isn't always easy if you are severely obese, but there are plenty of strengthening exercises you can learn, which will build muscle and help you lose more fat.
Weight loss balloons are increasingly popular with people who want to lose weight without having surgery. Talk to your doctor for more information and advice.