19 November, 2022

Is The Orbera Gastric Balloon Safe?

How safe is a gastric balloon for weight loss? In today’s article, we will discuss this topic and answer some frequently asked questions about the safety and efficacy of using gastric balloons for weight loss. But first, let’s look at this question from a doctor’s or medical professional’s point of view.

Evaluating A Patient Treatment Plan For Safety

Part of the assessment process includes gathering the patient’s medical history and evaluating their current health situation. The doctor then uses that information to weigh the pros and cons of available treatment options and using their medical knowledge and expertise, chooses a patient plan of care that is best and safest for that individual. This is done by ensuring that the benefits of the procedure (pros) outweigh any risks that may be involved (cons).

The Dangers Of Obesity vs Risks Associated With Treatment

  • Over 300,000 individuals die prematurely each year from obesity-related health issues;
  • The higher an individual’s BMI, the higher their risk of premature death;
  • People with BMI levels over 30 have a 50-100% increased risk of dying prematurely from all causes vs people within healthy BMI ranges.

The obesity epidemic in the United States has continued to increase, and the pandemic’s emergence just added to this already serious situation. One out of every three adults in the U.S. falls into the “obese” category on the BMI scale (body mass index).

Obesity is linked to several serious health conditions and is the root cause of many diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. Obesity can limit a person’s quality of life in several ways, including inhibiting their mobility, disturbing their sleep patterns, and interfering with their ability to function or carry out their daily routine. Many obese patients also suffer from emotional health issues, depression, and anxiety.

Obesity vs Weight Loss: The Benefits Outweigh The Risks

Losing weight is the cure for obesity. Doctors who specialize in medical weight loss have already studied the pros and cons between the risks of an individual remaining obese and the procedures that treat obesity. The benefits of treatment always outweigh the risks of remaining obese. The only other calculation that remains is the one needed to determine the safest and most effective treatment for each individual patient.

Obesity Typically Requires Medical Intervention For Weight Loss

Anyone who has tried to lose weight on their own knows this is no easy task and what they may not know is that most individuals whose BMI levels classify them as obese will need some type of medical intervention to help them lose weight. Studies have determined that individuals who have elevated (obese) BMI levels have less than a 5% chance of losing enough weight to reduce their BMI to a healthy range without medical help.

Many factors play a role in why weight loss is inhibited but medically assisted weight loss procedures and their associated programs are designed to overcome these obstacles and help these patients to achieve their weight loss goals.

Non-Surgical Options For Weight Loss Offer Reduced Risks

Historically, medical help for losing weight was primarily surgical in the form of bariatric surgery such as gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, etc.

Today, we are fortunate to have non-surgical options available that do not make permanent alterations to our bodies or require any incisions or extended downtime. The Orbera intragastric balloon is one of these options and can safely and effectively help patients lose weight.

Am I A Good Candidate For A Gastric Balloon?

If you have a body mass index (BMI) of between 30-40 and have not undergone a surgical abdominal procedure such as a hernia repair or previous bariatric surgery, are not pregnant or breastfeeding, and are willing to commit to participating in a 12-month supervised program, a gastric balloon may be a good fit for you.

What Are The Side Effects Or Risks Of The Gastric Balloon?

Patients have reported experiencing the common symptoms of nausea and vomiting for several days after the balloon insertion; however, medication prescribed by the doctor can help manage and alleviate this discomfort.

Side effects of a serious nature are rare for a gastric balloon procedure (1/10,000) but may include deflation of the balloon, ulceration of the stomach, bowel obstruction, intestinal perforation, and very rarely, death.

Is Orbera® Safe To Use For Weight Loss?

For almost two decades, the Orbera balloon has been used to help patients in other countries safely and effectively combat obesity. In 2015, it received FDA approval for use in the United States and was the first weight loss balloon to be developed and used to treat obesity.

At Simmons MD Weight Loss Solutions, we use the Orbera intragastric balloon because it has been proven safe, reliable, and effective based on its long history of use.

Ground-breaking technology and design
The Orbera balloon was the first intragastric balloon pioneered over 20 years ago and has been meticulously reviewed, tweaked, and improved over the years to offer the most significant weight loss results compared to other FDA-approved gastric balloons. All the gastric balloons that have subsequently emerged are based on the design, creativity, and ingenuity of the Orbera balloon.
The Orbera balloon has a proven track record that spans decades
Before the Orbera balloon was approved by the FDA in the U.S, it was used in other countries and demonstrated safety and efficacy through multiple studies and clinical trials spanning almost 2 decades.
Weight loss results experienced by patients
At Simmons Advanced Weight Loss Solutions, Dr. Okeefe Simmons has witnessed amazing results experienced by individuals who have successfully lost weight and improved their health through the Orbera intragastric balloon program.
Unsurpassed support
In addition to our in-house STEPS lifestyle coaching program, the Orbera balloon offers patients a proprietary application that can help them stay on track with their weight loss goals.

Risks of Obesity vs Rewards Of Weight Loss With Orbera Balloon

Let’s look at some statistics to get an idea of the risks related to obesity. This way, we can compare them to the risks of non-surgical treatment and conclude how safe the gastric balloon procedure is in comparison.

According to a recent study published by JAMA, if an individual diagnosed as obese lost weight, hence improving their BMI enough to fall within the “overweight” BMI category, their mortality rate risks would decrease by 54%.

Another study also reported that weight loss was attributed to longevity, reducing the risks of dying prematurely from many obesity-related health conditions.

  • The risk of heart disease was reduced by 56%;
  • The risk of diabetes was reduced by 92%;
  • The risk of cancer was reduced by 60%.

According to the CDC, improvements in cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure are produced even through modest weight loss. Losing between 5% and 10% of one’s total body weight can make a big difference to their overall health.

In addition to boosting self-esteem and reducing physical limitations, weight loss has been proven to eliminate certain conditions or reduce the risks of experiencing them. These conditions include asthma, sleep apnea, GERD, issues with cholesterol, fatty liver disease, several types of cancer, urinary incontinence, stroke, heart disease, etc.

Gastric Balloons Are Safe and Effective

Are you still wondering how safe is the gastric balloon? When placed by an expertly trained professional who has a thorough knowledge of their patient and medical history and used as part of a doctor-managed weight loss program according to the directions issued by the manufacturer, gastric balloons are considered very safe.

Intragastric Balloons Should Only Be Placed And Monitored By A Qualified Professional

When considering an endoscopic weight loss procedure such as the placement of the Orbera balloon, you must avoid inexperienced endoscopists. These medical devices should be used not only by experienced and accredited doctors, but also those that are specifically trained and knowledgeable in the resolution of obesity-related complications.

There is no contest when evaluating the risk vs rewards of a gastric balloon procedure vs ongoing obesity. If you would like to learn more about the Orbera gastric balloon and how it can help you lose weight, contact us today.

Our skilled team at Simmons MD Advanced Weight Loss Centers in Miami is committed to supporting you on your journey to better health through weight loss. Dr. Simmons is an expert in his field and the first triple fellowship-trained doctor in the areas of gastroenterology, bariatric endoscopy, and obesity medicine in the United States.

Set up a consultation today to learn more about the Orbera intragastric balloon and how it can help you lose weight and reach your goals.

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