America has a strained relationship with weight loss. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that more than two-thirds of Americans (68.8 percent, to be exact) were considered overweight or obese. That’s roughly 200 million people.
Over the years, as the obesity epidemic approaches an all-time high, doctors and others involved in healthcare have tried to develop procedures that expedite the weight loss process for those who feel like they are doing everything they can. One of said doctors’ FDA-approved solution? Swallowing a balloon.
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Obalon is a three-step, non-invasive procedure that requires you to swallow three balloons over the course of three months. The procedure was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in September 2016, and was passed for public use in January 2017. It’s a six-month commitment, but only takes around 10 minutes to administer, according to Pret-a-Reporter.
The treatment begins by swallowing the capsule, which includes the balloon that the doctor inflates via catheter. Once fully inflated with gas, the balloon is only about the size of an orange and weighs about as much as a penny. This process is repeated one and two months later.
The balloons help patients lose weight because they take up space inside of the stomach, making you feel full. But the reason why the procedure is so groundbreaking is because it bypasses the negative side effects typically associated with gastric procedures, like severe nausea or abdominal pain, because the balloons floats to the top of the stomach.
At the end of the treatment period, a doctor will remove the balloons during an outpatient procedure, and by that time the patient should have already started seeing results. With prices ranging from $6,000 to $9,000, it’s not the most expensive weight loss procedure, but it definitely leaves a dent in your bank account. However, some studies claim it facilitates twice as much weight loss.
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Swallowing Balloons Is The Newest Weight Loss Fad That We Can’t Afford