Intragastric balloon helping people lose weight without surgery

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A new tool is available to help people battling obesity lose weight and hopefully keep it off.

It's called the Orbera intragastric balloon, you don't need surgery for it and it's reversible. Dr. Stephen Boyce is the only surgeon in East and Middle Tennessee to offer the procedure.

The balloon is placed into the stomach through the mouth using an endoscopic procedure. Once in place, the balloon is filled with saline. It takes up space in the stomach to help patients lose weight. Dr. Boyce says it works.

"This is good for patients who aren't interested in surgery but are needing to lose significant weight," he said.

The balloon only stays in place for six months. The patient returns to the doctor to have it deflated and removed. Studies show good results.

"Patients who have the intragastric balloon lost three times more weight than patients who just did dieting and exercise," he said.

To qualify, you need to be over 18, and have a body mass index of 30 to 40. Insurance doesn't cover it, but it's about a third of the cost of traditional gastric bypass surgeries.

More online: Orbera website

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