Obalon weight loss balloon offer safe alternative for people suffering from obesity who do not qualify for surgical procedures
SPRINGFIELD, N.J., April 17, 2018 — Weight loss surgery experts at New Jersey Bariatric Center® have expressed support for the addition of the intragastric balloon to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) list of approved procedures for weight loss, saying that weight loss balloons (known by the brand names Obalon and ORBERA®) offer a safe and effective treatment option for people who are obese but who do not qualify for bariatric surgery procedures, such as the gastric sleeve.
“Prior to this procedure, there were few proven interventions to assist in weight loss other than surgery,” said Ajay Goyal, MD, FACS, founder and president of New Jersey Bariatric Center®. “If you suffered from obesity, but didn’t qualify for surgery, you were left with diet and exercise, which we know is not effective for patients who are obese. When the gastric balloon procedure is performed, patients are able to lose twice as much weight as they had in previous failed attempts at diet.”
The ASMBS added the intragastric balloon to its list of approved procedures and devices following an extensive review and analysis of safety and effectiveness data and a public comment period from members. The balloon joins other approved procedures, such as sleeve gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and bariatric reoperative procedures. The approval is a first step in getting major health insurers to cover the procedure, according to the ASMBS.
About 5,000 intragastric balloons have been implanted since the device was approved by the FDA in 2015. It is approved for the treatment of obesity in patients with a body mass index or BMI over 30. New Jersey Bariatric Center® offers the swallowable Obalon gastric balloon.
“The balloon systems work to fight the hunger that causes most people to fail with restrictive calorie-reducing diets,” explained Dr. Goyal. “They take up space in the stomach so patients feel fuller on less food. The balloons stay in the stomach for six months during which time the patient works with our weight loss coaches and registered dietitians on the dietary and behavioral changes needed to make weight loss successful. After the balloons are removed, the patient continues with nutritional and behavioral counseling for another six months.”
“The key is that patients are not on a diet,” he said. “They are learning real-world strategies to lose weight, eat right and exercise that sustains them after the balloons are removed.”
ABOUT NEW JERSEY BARIATRIC CENTER®
New Jersey Bariatric Center®, a medical and surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick and Hackettstown, New Jersey, helps patients achieve long-term weight loss success through the most advanced bariatric procedures, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and gastric balloon procedures. Led by the team of Ajay Goyal, MD, Glenn Forrester, MD, Angela Glasnapp, MD, and James Buwen, DO, the approach of the New Jersey Bariatric Center® to patient care has resulted in zero mortalities and a complication rate that is lower than the national average. For more information about bariatric surgery, visit www.NJBariatricCenter.com