Types of Gastric Balloons: Which One Is the Best?

In the past many people with obesity had to undergo bariatric surgery even if they did not want to because it was the only effective way. Nowadays, thanks to technological advancements in medicine, there are a variety of modern weight loss solutions that are non-surgical, highly safe, and effective. Gastric balloons are innovative devices that can help people achieve amazing weight loss results quickly without surgery and the high risks associated with it. In this article, we will tell you more about the different types of gastric balloons so that you can see which model might be more suitable for you.

Orbera IGB Is The Most Popular Gastric Balloon Type

One of the most common types of intragastric balloons is the Orbera one. It came out in 1991 as the first type of new generation of intragastric balloons. The FDA approved the latest version of the Orbera IGB in 2015. Thanks to its great design and high success over the years, it has gained a wealth of research and clinical studies that proved its safety and efficacy. Other types of these devices that came later after the Orbera balloon were made according to the same principle but with some modifications.

Since other types of gastric balloons are very similar to the most widely used and pioneering model, we will explain how all gastric balloons work using Orbera as an example. Then we will focus on unique features and differences rather than repeating the common features of all devices.

How Does The Orbera IGB Work?

The Orbera type of intragastric balloon is made of silicone of a spherical shape with a diameter of around 13 cm. It comes empty with a valve that can close itself after the procedure is completed.

Insertion of Orbera is a non-surgical procedure that is done endoscopically, meaning transorally with the help of a special thin tube with a mini camera and a light fastened to it. The doctor puts the patient to sleep and then passes the endoscope through the patient’s mouth down to the stomach to inspect the inside. The endoscope has a light and a miniature camera on it that visualizes the entire procedure on a wide screen in the operating room. After checking the stomach, the doctor will insert the empty balloon down to the gut in the same endoscopic way and leave it there. The process of filling up will begin. About 700 ml of saline solution will be injected into the empty spherical device.

The device will take up a significant amount of space there and make the patient feel full very quickly. The patient will not be able to eat much and the weight loss will follow soon. For about 6 months, the patient will have the device inside to train new healthy eating habits, trying to develop better relationships with food. After half a year, the balloon will be taken out orally just like it was inserted.

As we already said, it is the most popular gastric balloon type with outstanding outcomes. On average, patients lose about 30-40 pounds. However, some highly motivated and disciplined patients lose 100 lbs with the Orbera gastric balloon.

Some of the most attractive features are that the procedure takes only about half an hour and requires no downtime, which means you can go home the same day. Also, with the Orbera balloon, there are very few restrictions that will disrupt your life. Usually, this model of gastric balloons is perfect for patients with a BMI of 27 to 50.

How Is The Spatz3 IGB Different?

Another successful type of intragastric balloon is the Spatz3 gastric balloon. While its working mechanism and design are similar to the Orbera one, it has several important additional features.

First of all, this type of balloon can stay in your stomach for more than 6 months. In some locations in the EU, Spatz3 is used for up to a year, which can give patients more time to adjust to their new healthy lifestyles and increase the chances for great weight loss results. Dr. Batash recommends using the Spatz3 balloon for about 8 months.

Also, depending on the situation, when the patient needs a smaller or larger volume of the balloon than it was inflated initially, the doctor can add or remove some of the solution while the balloon remains in its place.

Anesthesia is required when removing the balloon. Although the Spatz3 model has not been yet approved by the FDA in the USA, it gained the European Union CE Mark 12 years ago and has been used effectively in Europe for more than a decade.

The typical result that patients can have with Spatz3 is losing about 15-18% of their total body weight, which can be an average of 35–55 pounds.

Gastric Balloon Types Recommended by The Top Weight Loss Specialist

Dr. Batash is a top weight loss doctor who has more than 30 years of expertise in helping patients lose weight successfully. He was among the first doctors who have adopted gastric balloons. Based on his vast experience and the deep research he and his team conducted, Dr. Batash chose to offer his patients two types of gastric balloons: the Orbera and Spatz3. Consult with the doctor if you want to know which of these two would be better for you.

The Main Difference Between Spatz & Orbera Gastric Balloon

In this article, we will tell you more about the different types of gastric balloons so that you can see which model might be more suitable for you.

Balloon System ReShape Duo Purchased By The Apollo Endosurgery

The ReShape Duo system is different from the Orbera one because it possesses two smaller-sized balloons joined together with a narrow tube made of silicone. The physician uses endoscopy to situate them into the stomach. Both placement and removal procedures are performed under light sedation.

The dual balloon system is designed to fit the stomach better. It replicates the natural stomach anatomy more effectively. The doctor will pour about 450 ml of saline solution into each balloon which makes the volume of the balloons close to 900 ml. However, to what extent the balloons will be filled out depends on the size of the patient’s body and stomach. Usually, the patient’s height is taken into account to make sure that the balloons are of optimal size for the stomach.

The ReShape Duo system has FDA approval for weight loss. However, in 2018 Apollo Endosurgery acquired ReShape Balloon and examined two balloons: Orbera and ReShape after which the company decided to continue with the Orbera system only.

The Air-Filled Type: Obalon Gastric Balloon

The Obalon stands out among other types of intragastric balloons because the physician will load the balloon with gas instead of saline. Another distinguishing feature of this air-filled balloon type is that patients can just swallow it and there is no need for endoscopy.

Three small balloons will be placed into the stomach but this will not be done all at once. The second and the third balloons can be inserted in a month after the previous one. The balloons are folded and compressed, weighing just 6 g, so that the patient can easily gulp down this small, dissolvable gelatin capsule.

After swallowing, the doctor will check the balloon’s position in the stomach and fill it up with a gas mixture using the catheter connected to the balloon in the stomach. After 6 months, the Obalon balloons are punctured and removed using the endoscopy under general anesthesia. It is FDA-approved.

The Gastric Ballon Type With No Endoscopy And Anesthesia: The Ellipse Balloon

The Ellipse balloon’s distinguishing feature is that neither endoscopy nor anesthesia is required for the procedure. It can be a great option for those patients who cannot or do not want to undergo endoscopy and anesthesia due to their health conditions. However, it is important to emphasize it has not been approved by the FDA yet.

Also, with the Ellipse balloon, the doctor cannot see inside your stomach which makes it harder or even impossible to prevent some of the potential complications. The patient swallows the ellipse balloon just like any other pill. After it safely lands on your stomach, it is checked with an X-ray. Then, it gets filled up with up to 550 mL of fluid (a mix of distilled water and potassium sorbate preservative) using a thin catheter fastened to the balloon.

After the procedure of insertion, which takes about 20 minutes, the patient will be able to go home. After 4 months, thanks to its special design and no-rigid construction, the balloon is expected to unload itself, degrade, and be out of the stomach naturally through the GI tract.

While this type of intragastric balloon might be appealing due to its easy implementation, you should keep in mind that there are also downsides because the doctor does not have control over the balloon as the case with endoscopically placed gastric balloons.

Dr. Batash Offers Time-Tested Non-Surgical Weight Loss Procedures

As we have discussed, different types of gastric balloons can be used for weight loss. Some of them are more popular and have better outcomes than others. Dr. Batash, a prominent weight loss specialist in the country and abroad, can recommend his patients to use a specific type of gastric balloon based on his experience and preferences of the patient. He also might suggest another weight loss procedure that could be an even better fit for your individual health and weight conditions. As a bonus, the medical team of Dr. Batash will provide you with lifestyle coaching and nutrition recommendations to ensure that your weight loss results last for a lifetime. Start your transformational journey now with Dr. Batash and his welcoming team.

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