Gastric balloon swallowed like a tablet may help patients lose excess weight

“Anything that helps our epidemic of obesity is welcome news. There are so many hidden medical consequences of obesity. I hope someday we will have an affordable effective help for obese children, the critical time of opportunity. “Bill Chesnut, MD

Gastric balloon swallowed like a tablet may help patients lose excess weight

 The Los Angeles Times (11/6, Healy) reports in “Science Now” that the Elipse device, an encapsulated “gastric balloon that’s swallowed like a [tablet] and then sits in the stomach filled with fluid, helped patients lose more than a third of their excess weight over a four-month period,” according to the results of a study presented at Obesity Week. The study of “34 overweight and obese subjects who got the balloon lost an average of 22 pounds after four months – roughly 37% of their excess weight,” the study found. The device has yet to be approved by the FDA, however.

HealthDay (11/6, Mozes) points out that the Elipse device “is intended for patients with a BMI as low as 27,” whereas “invasive approaches are typically reserved for severely obese patients – those with a body-mass index (BMI) of 35 and up.” The device is not permanent. After a period of “about four months, the balloon automatically deflates, at which point its thin shell is naturally excreted.”

AMA newsletter_10.06.15