If you - like most people - have struggled to lose even a small amount of stubborn weight, you’ve probably asked yourself if there are any dramatic weight loss options that work. While it is tempting to hope for a pill or trick that will lead to drastic weight loss, these ‘magic bullets’ are usually more hype than reality. However, there is one type of option that safely and effectively leads to dramatic weight loss for many patients who do not want to have bariatric surgery. Not only does this option often help people lose up to 50 pounds or more, but it may also help patients reduce health issues like sleep apnea, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. What is this option that can have such drastic weight loss results? It’s a non-surgical bariatric procedure known as the gastric balloon.
What is a gastric balloon?
A weight loss balloon, or gastric balloon, is a flexible device that goes into your stomach to make you feel more full. This weight loss tool is a temporary option and stays in your stomach for up to 6 months to help you lose a dramatic amount of weight. There are two types of gastric balloons offered: Obalon and Orbera. Both of these balloons have been studied in thousands of patients to ensure they are safe and effective, and both are approved by the FDA.
How does a gastric balloon help with dramatic weight loss?
The reason a gastric balloon can help many people achieve dramatic weight loss, is that it amplifies your own hard work. The balloon takes up room in the stomach, which generally leads to people feeling full more quickly, and going longer before they feel hungry again. With the gastric balloon, you’ll learn the eating strategies that will help you lose weight quickly, as well as how to maintain that weight loss after the balloon is removed.
Why is it so hard to lose a significant amount of weight without help?
It’s true that you may be able to lose the same amount of weight without a balloon, if you could maintain the same diet as a person with a balloon. However, this is easier said than done. So often when we try to lose weight by dramatically reducing our food intake, we find that within a few days we are consumed with hunger. At this point, most drastic diets begin to fail. With the balloon, on the other hand, most people do not have to combat these same feelings of hunger. The size of the balloon means that they feel a ‘fullness’ in their stomachs, even when they have not eaten much at all. Having a gastric balloon is a great reset time for many people who find that it gives them a chance to truly succeed with their eating and lifestyle changes.
Why do people like the gastric balloon?
A gastric balloon is a safe and effective device that has let thousands of people lose weight that they struggled with for years or decades. Currently, this is the only non-surgical bariatric option that we truly find is helping people. One reason our patients like the balloons is that they have them put in during a short office visit, with no need for general anesthesia, incisions, or scars. Another reason patients like the balloons is their ability to help change habits. With the balloon, you learn healthier ways of eating like smaller portions, chewing well, and eating slowly. These are all habits that then help you maintain that weight loss in the long term.
Will I see a large drop quickly, or over time?
When you’re working on losing a large amount of weight with a weight loss balloon, the patterns of weight loss tend to differ between the two types of balloons we offer. With the Orbera balloon, more of our patients see a substantial amount of weight loss early on, with more moderate weight loss as time goes on. With the Obalon balloon, patients tend to have smaller weight loss initially, but then increase their weight loss as time goes on. What accounts for this difference? We’ll explain:
- The Orbera balloon is a single, large balloon that is placed in your stomach and filled with a saline solution. Immediately you will feel a significant fullness or heaviness in your stomach. It is common for patients with this balloon to have nausea while their bodies are adjusting to the balloon. This is also why there seems to be drastic weight loss with the Orbera balloon right away.
- The Obalon balloon system is actually 3 separate balloons that we will place at 3 separate office visits. When the first balloon is put in, some patients start losing weight quickly, but some lose more slowly. For those patients, they often tend to lose weight more rapidly once the second or third balloons are put in. It is at this time that they have the maximum feeling of fullness in their stomachs. Although the initial weight loss with this balloon tends to be slower, there is also generally less nausea.
Can I have liposuction to lose a dramatic amount of weight?
Liposuction is not for the purpose of overall weight loss, so this is not the right choice if you are hoping for drastic weight loss. Instead, liposuction targets stubborn areas of fat that are not responding to diet and exercise. Ideal candidates for liposuction are people who are close to their goal weight, with specific pockets of fat they want to get rid of. If you use a gastric balloon to get close to your target weight, liposuction may be a great follow up option you can have for contouring.
If you’re looking for ways to lose a dramatic amount of weight, the gastric balloon may be a good option for you. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more about this weight loss solution.