FAQs

  • How does the Obalon balloon work?

    The Obalon balloon is designed to assist weight loss by partially filling the stomach and helping to induce a feeling of fullness. The placement of one or more balloons in the stomach helps you consume less food at each sitting.

  • What weight loss results should I expect?

    Data from European and Mexican clinical studies of the Obalon balloon demonstrated that participants lost on average 8.2% of their Total Body Weight and 48.9% of Excess Body Weight over a 12-week treatment period. Some participants lost less weight than the average and other participants lost more than the average.* The Obalon balloon is designed to help you feel fuller longer with smaller meals so that you can work on eating healthier. Weight loss will depend on how you modify your eating behaviors, as directed by your physician.

  • How long is the treatment?

    The Obalon balloon consists of 3 lightweight balloons that are placed in the stomach over a 12-week treatment period. Rather than introducing one large balloon, the Obalon balloon is designed to minimize discomfort by introducing up to 3 small balloons over time.

  • How many balloons are used during the treatment period?

    The number of balloons placed in the stomach can be individualized, based on the patient’s feeling of fullness, tolerance and weight loss progress. A single balloon is placed during the initial procedure, with additional balloons added as needed. It is up to your physician to decide how many balloons should be placed in the stomach over the 12-week treatment.

  • How are the balloons placed?

    Placement of the Obalon balloon is a straightforward procedure that takes about 15 minutes. The balloon technology utilizes a capsule that contains the balloon inside. The capsule is attached to a tiny tube that allows inflation. You drink a cup of water and swallow the capsule with the tube attached, just like you would swallow a normal capsule. Once the capsule reaches your stomach, it opens up and releases the balloon. Your physician confirms the balloon placement using an x-ray and then uses a device to inflate the balloon with gas. After the balloon is inflated, your physician releases the tube from the balloon and pulls the tube out of your mouth, leaving the balloon free-floating in your stomach. You do not need any sedation for this procedure and you are free to go home right after the balloon is inflated. Additional balloons are placed in the exact same way.

  • How large is the Obalon balloon?

    A fully inflated single balloon is a sphere with a volume of 250cc, weighing less than 6 grams. Based on your weight loss progress, you may need up to 3 balloons placed in your stomach over the 12-week period. The total amount of volume with 2 balloons is 500cc, and 3 balloons is 750cc.

  • How is the Obalon balloon removed?

    The balloon(s) is removed during a short endoscopic procedure, the same procedure used when performing upper endoscopy foreign body retrieval. Your doctor gives you a sedative, and then uses an endoscope to puncture and remove the balloon. Clinical studies have shown that patients are usually sedated for about 30 minutes—15 minutes prior to the procedure and 15 minutes to remove the balloon(s) (approximately 5 minutes per balloon).* After the procedure you are monitored until the effects of the sedative agents wear off; typically you are fully awake within 15 minutes.

  • Do I have to follow a special diet after the procedure?

    Yes, but only for the first 3 days. Following the placement of the first balloon, it is recommended you drink only clear liquids on day 1 and eat soft foods during day 2. Most patients return to solid foods by the third day.

  • What should I expect when using the Obalon balloon?

    Your physician will work closely with you to help you develop healthier eating habits, such as making the right food choices and limiting yourself to appropriate portion sizes. After the initial balloon placement, you should expect that you won’t be able to eat the same quantity of food you previously consumed at one sitting—This helps your ability to control your eating habits.

  • How do know I’m ready for the Obalon balloon?

    The Obalon balloon is indicated for patients with a body mass index, or BMI, of at least 27 kg/m2. The Obalon balloon can assist your efforts, but your weight loss success is also dependent on your readiness to change your eating habits. The degree of long-term weight loss will depend on your ability to modify your behavior during the 12-week therapy period and to maintain this behavior. It is important that you discuss your willingness to accept this commitment with your physician before getting the Obalon balloon.

  • What are the side effects of this treatment?

    After balloon placement, some people report feeling pressure, cramping, or discomfort within the abdominal region. This is normal and usually subsides once the body gets used to the balloon. However, your doctor can provide you with commonly used medications that help with this discomfort. People may also experience nausea and vomiting. This usually occurs during the first few days following the placement of the balloon. Your doctor may suggest medications to help you manage side effects if necessary. You will also be asked to take stomach acid reducing, non-prescription medication. Patients typically resume normal activities immediately after the procedure.

  • What should I do after I get the Obalon balloon?

    It is important that you listen to the instructions provided by your physician. Also, it is important that you listen to your body and you are aware of your feeling of fullness. As you become aware that you are eating less, it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle by making healthy food choices.

  • Will the Obalon balloon limit my activity?

    No. The Obalon balloon is a lightweight balloon that is non-surgical and reversible. Patients usually resume normal activities immediately post procedure.

  • Who should I talk to about the Obalon balloon?

    Ask your doctor. The Obalon balloon can be administered only by a physician.

  • What should I tell my physician when discussing the Obalon balloon?

    It is important to share your medical history with your physician. Also, it is important that you discuss your readiness and motivation to make a permanent lifestyle change to help you lose weight and keep it off.

  • Who should not consider the Obalon balloon?

    The Obalon balloon is indicated for temporary use for weight loss in overweight and obese adults with a body mass index of 27 or greater who have previously failed a supervised weight control program. The Obalon balloon is intended for use in conjunction with a diet and behavior modification program.

  • The Obalon gastric balloon should not be used if you have any of the following limitations/conditions:

    • Anatomical abnormalities of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract
    • Functional disorders of the upper GI tract
    • Inflammatory and other pathophysiological conditions of the GI tract
    • Chronic or acute use of medications known to affect integrity of the GI tract and/or weight
    • Prior GI tract surgeries, excluding uncomplicated appendectomies
    • Untreated hypothyroidism or untreated Cushing’s disease or syndrome
    • Severe, unstable/uncontrolled medical conditions of major organ systems
    • Alcohol and/or illicit drug abuse
    • Undergoing chronic steroid or immunosuppressive therapy
    • Pregnant, or breastfeeding, or intention of becoming pregnant during the study
    • Type 1 diabetes mellitus
    • Must not undertake scuba diving or travel in an unpressurized airplane cabin
    • Allergies to products/foods of porcine origin
    • Untreated H. pylori infection