Belly Balloon May Lead to New Weight Loss Treatment
Weight loss surgery has been a boon to people who suffer from morbid obesity, but millions of Americans who struggle with their weight can’t qualify for bariatric surgery because they essentially aren’t big enough. Now, a new clinical trial is about to get underway for a medical device that may offer hope to people who are overweight or obese – and that doesn’t require any surgery.
The BioEnterics® Intragastric Balloon System, or BIB, will be the subject of a new study to begin soon in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
With the BIB system, a surgeon inserts a silicone balloon into the patient’s stomach through the patient’s mouth using an endoscope. Similar to a breast implant procedure, the balloon is then inflated with saline using a removable tube. The inflated balloon fills up most of the stomach and limits the amount of food the patient can eat. But, unlike laparoscopic weight loss surgery procedures, the BIB procedure requires only a local anesthetic.
We recently spoke with Dr. Adam Smith, head surgeon at Fort-Worth Lap-Band, who is one of the doctors selected to participate in the clinical trial: During the clinical trial, the BIB device will be tested on a group of potential weight loss surgery patients in the North Texas area. Half of the participants will be chosen at random to receive the BIB and the other half will not receive the implant. Both groups will eat identical low-calorie diets and attend regular sessions with dietitians, counselors. At the end of the study, doctors will weigh the members of each group to note any differences in weight loss. We will be sure to keep you posted on the results.