Weight loss for anyone is tough. For the people who are severely overweight there are surgical options such as the Lap Band and Gastric Bypass Surgery that are designed to help patients at critical obesity levels lose a significant amount of weight.
Unfortunately, there are minimal weight and body mass (BMI) requirements for patients to qualify for these procedures. What about those that are overweight but do not meet these medical requirements? There is a new weight loss surgery product in the testing stages that just might have the answer.
The BioEnterics Intragastric Balloon System
A new weight loss surgery study is about to begin in central Texas to evaluate the effectiveness of the BioEnterics Intragastric Balloon System (or BIB). The interesting part about this new weight loss surgery is that it is a truly non-invasive process. The doctor uses an endoscope to run a tube down the patient’s throat (starting from their mouth) and places a silicone balloon into their stomach, with another tube entered in the same fashion; the balloon is filled with saline water. Both tubes are then removed from the throat and the process is complete. The balloon fills up the majority of the stomach and stays there for a period of six months.
The concept of this new weight loss surgery is that the balloon would limit the amount of food that the patient could eat. This will enable the patients to eat less, change their eating habits and lose weight in an almost natural way. At the end of the six month period, the balloon is drained and removed from the stomach. By this point hopefully the patient has lost a substantial amount of weight and has developed new eating habits that will continue to help them lead a healthy lifestyle.
The Belly Balloon in Clinical Trials
Dr. Adam Smith is the head surgeon at Fort-Worth Lap-Band and one of the doctors that will be involved in the upcoming clinical trial on this new weight loss surgery. He explained how this trial will work. He mentioned that there will be two randomly selected groups of qualified individuals for this procedure that will be on similar low calorie diets with routine follow ups with the doctors in the study. Half of the group will have the balloon system placed in their stomach, the other half will not. The doctors will monitor the weight loss and eating habits of both groups throughout the study.
The goal of this new weight loss surgery is to see if the BioEnterics Intragastric Balloon System recipients will have far greater weight loss results than those that maintained a simple diet without the addition of the device. It is also a hope that the people who use this system will be able learn a better eating and physical routine habit to improve their overall health so that more invasive procedures such as the Lap-Band and Gastric surgery will not be necessary for them in the future. There is a group watching the progress of this trial and the results of it will be reported as they come back.