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A balloon for obesity: an option between medication and surgery?

or many struggling with obesity, taking one of the newly approved prescription medications for weight loss (marketed as Qsymia, Belviq and Contrave) feels like climbing a mountain with a walking cane — it’s a little help, but not enough. And bariatric surgery — a permanent replumbing of the intestinal tract that is expensive and carries the risks of major surgery — feels like a bit too much help.

Could a water balloon be the solution?

The water balloon diet sounds like a new weight-loss gimmick, but at its heart is a medical device: the gastric balloon, several of which are expected to be considered by the Food and Drug Administration as weight-loss aids in the next year or so.

The gastric balloon goes down the throat, is inflated with fluid, and sits in the stomach. By taking up space, the device is designed to create a sensation of fullness, help a patient develop habits of portion control, and aid in weight loss. A new study suggests that, as part of a structured program of diet and exercise, the gastric balloon may help obese people lose more weight than is possible with diet and exercise alone.

Read more about it on The Las Angelus Times here: