It was earlier this month that the Orbera revolutionary anti-obesity program — which includes the novel Orbera intragastric balloon — was approved by the US Food and Drug administration as a non-invasive procedure that can help obese individuals avoid overeating, lose weight, and adopt a modified, healthier lifestyle for long-term weight loss and management. Recently, a physician from the New York Bariatric Group was one of the first to perform the Orbera Gastric Balloon procedure in the United States since the system received FDA approval. Dr. Shawn Garber is one of the first surgeons in the country to receive comprehensive training on conducting the procedure, and is pleased to be able to offer his clients this non-invasive yet effective weight loss option, which incorporates not only the use of the weight loss balloon but also a guided and collaborative lifestyle modification program.
The ORBERA balloon is a medical device developed as part of Apollo Endosurgery, Inc.’s ORBERA Managed Weight Loss System, a comprehensive, non-surgical two-part program that includes non-invasive insertion of a balloon for filling up space in a patient’s stomach as an aid to proper portion control. Data on ORBERA collected in a U.S. clinical trial has demonstrated that the average trial participant lost 3.1 times the amount of weight with the ORBERA balloon in place compared to trial subjects who relied on diet and exercise alone over an interval of six months.
The advantage of ORBERA is that it is a completely non-surgical weight loss solution designed for adult patients suffering from obesity who are not eligible for invasive surgery such as sleeve gastrectomy, and have had no success in using diet, exercise and pharmaceutical interventions for losing weight.
Dr. Garber explained that the procedure was performed in his office, with the patient receiving light sedation, and took only about 15 minutes to complete. The patient was cleared to leave the clinic a half hour later, and reported feeling full after the procedure.
This ORBERA procedure is likely to be only the beginning of success for the use of intragastric balloons as a safe, non-surgical alternative to bariatric surgery in the United States, after several years of promising results in Europe using the weight loss technology. Procedures such as sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass are shown to be successful in facilitating weight loss, but they are invasive procedures that incur health risks and permanent changes to the digestive tract. Bariatric surgical procedures such as gastric banding and now the use of intragastric balloons offers a much less invasive option for patients that could prove to be the next wave of successful medically supervised weight loss approaches for obese patients.