Manatee Memorial Hospital is the first hospital on Florida’s west coast to place the FDA-approved Obalon® Balloon System, a swallowable, non-surgical treatment option for weight loss. Stelios Rekkas, MD, general surgeon and medical director of the Weight-Loss Program, is performing this non-surgical treatment option at the hospital.
The Obalon Balloon System includes light-weight balloons that occupy space in the stomach so patients eat less. Adult men and women may be a candidate for the Obalon Balloon System if they are about 30 to 100 pounds overweight, depending on their body mass index. The balloons are delivered as capsules swallowed by the patient. Once in the stomach, a thin inflation catheter fills the balloons with air. Up to three balloons are placed in the stomach over three months to maximize patient tolerability and facilitate progressive weight loss.
An Obalon balloon capsule.
The Obalon Balloon System is intended to be used as an adjunct to a moderate intensity diet and behavior modification program. All balloons must be removed in an endoscopic procedure six months after the first balloon is placed. After the balloons are removed, Dr. Rekkas’ patients will continue to be seen for another six months to check their progress.
“When we learned about the Obalon Balloon System, we immediately wanted to offer this procedure to our patients struggling with obesity. We are proud to offer this technology to help patients reach their weight loss goals,” said Kevin DiLallo, CEO, Manatee Memorial Hospital.
During the clinical trial, Obalon Balloon System patients lost twice as much weight as those in the diet and exercise alone group. Six months after the balloons were removed, 89 percent of the weight lost was kept off, when combined with diet and exercise. The majority of adverse events were reported as mild and consisted of abdominal pain and nausea (serious side effects were less than 0.3 percent). For more information please visit the Obalon website.
Learn More about Surgical Weight Loss at Manatee Memorial Hospital >