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New Weight Loss 'Pill,' Actually Gastric Balloon, Offers No-Surgery Solution

Image: New Weight Loss 'Pill,' Actually Gastric Balloon, Offers No-Surgery Solution
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By    |   Friday, 06 Nov 2015 08:43 AM

A new weight loss "pill" that is swallowed and then inflates like a gastric balloon inside the stomach has helped people lose more than a third of their excess weight after four months without surgery, according to research presented Thursday at an Obesity Week 2015 conference.

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society, which co-hosted the conference, said in a statement that past research on the gastric balloon helped patients lose more than 37 percent of their excess weight over the four-month period.

The balloon device, called the Elipse, is not yet available to the public, but manufacturer Allurion Technologies said it could be used on patients with a body mass index of 27 or more.

"Like other gastric balloons, the mechanism of action of Elipse is likely multifactorial and includes increased satiety from the reduction of available space in the stomach, delayed gastric emptying, and changes in hormones that control hunger and appetite," Dr. Ram Chuttani, of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said in a statement.

"Our findings demonstrate that Elipse provides individuals and their caregivers with a safe, effective, and non-invasive weight loss intervention that does not require surgery, endoscopy, or anesthesia," Chuttani continued.

In October, People magazine reported on two versions of a gastric balloon on the market, ReShape and Orbera. Both are inserted via non-surgical procedures, which take about 15 minutes.

According to People, those products are small silicon balloons that are inserted into a patient's stomach via an endoscopic procedure, in which a doctor fills the balloon with saline solution to create a feeling of fullness.

The balloon is then removed after a six-month period and does not alter the anatomy of the stomach as a surgery would.

But the Elipse is simply swallowed like a pill, not inserted. When the capsule dissolves, the deflated gastric balloon can then be filled through a thin catheter that runs up into the patient's mouth. The catheter is removed after the balloon is filled to about the size of a grapefruit.

"New treatment options are being studied and approved for the treatment of obesity, which is good news for our patients and the healthcare professionals involved in their treatment," Dr. Ninh T. Nguyen, immediate past president of the ASMBS, said in the organization's conference statement.

"For many struggling with their weight, procedure-less gastric balloon devices may serve as a treatment option that bridges the gap between weight-loss drugs and surgery," Nguyen continued.

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A new weight loss "pill" that is swallowed and then inflates like a gastric balloon inside the stomach has helped people lose more than a third of their excess weight after four months without surgery, according to research presented Thursday at an Obesity Week 2015 conference.
new, weight, loss, pill, gastric, balloon
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2015-43-06
Friday, 06 Nov 2015 08:43 AM
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