Losing weight with the help of liquid filled balloon inserted in your stomach is the new weight loss trick. But a warning has been issued by the U.S Food and Drug Administration after 12 deaths have been reported by following this method.
What is the method?
A balloon is inserted into the stomach via an invasive endoscopy method. Once the balloon is placed, it is inflated with saline solution. This procedure limits the amount of food a person eats by making him/her feel fuller faster.
There are two types of liquid filled balloon systems that are being used since 2015. The first is ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System and the second is Orbera Intragastric Balloon System.
Once the balloon is inserted, it remains in place for several months and the person gets regular counselling on his exercise and diet. The initial results of the method were amazing. People lost twice the amount of weight as they did while they were only dieting and exercising.
The FDA issued a warning in August 2017 against this method as seven people died and these liquid-filled balloons were the suspected reason behind these deaths. However, the FDA wasn’t sure if this was the sole reason behind these deaths.
Five more people died and their deaths too were linked with perforations of the stomach wall after the implantation of the balloon. Not only this, problems like inflammation of pancreas and the balloon getting too large inside the stomach were also reported.
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Though the warning letter does not completely discourage using Orbera and Reshape Balloons, but the doctors are advised to closely monitor the patients who have got these balloons implanted. Even the patients are strictly asked to share any kind of discomfort they may face.
Seer stupidy. Why cannot one just eat less in stead of going thru this high cost, painful, high risk operation to do the same thing ?? World is going crazier day by day.
Problems can be managed if identified early. But as patients themselves are often unaware of the symptoms, they are not able to recognise them and tend to ignore them.
Like other procedures, even this one has its own risks. But according to an old report, the mortality and complication rate for both types of balloon implantation are less than those associated with hip replacement and gallbladder surgery.