Different Types of Gastric Balloons in Singapore
With the high cases of obesity and people clamoring for weight loss solutions, one type of technological innovation that is making a surge in countries like Singapore is called the Gastric Balloon.
According to the Health Promotion Board (HBP), Singapore's obesity prevalence has increased 0.7 percentage point every year since 2004, reaching nearly 11% in 2010, only one percentage lower than the global average obesity prevalence of 12%. Obesity is one of the leading causes of death in the world, as it is linked to several other diseases such as diabetes, heart problems, stroke, cancer, and is very detrimental to one's health. One particular innovation that is making a wave now in the Singapore market is called a Gastric Balloon. This device is designed to lower a person’s craving for excess food, resulting in a caloric restriction thus resulting in weight loss.
In this article, we will discuss the different types of gastric balloons available in the market so you can decide which one best suits you. However, before we delve into the types of gastric balloons, it is first vital to understand what is a gastric balloon and how it can help you with your weight loss goals.
What is a Gastric Balloon
A gastric balloon is a silicone device that is designed to be placed in the stomach and filled with liquid, so that it takes up space and lowers a person’s craving for food. The device is filled with a sterile saline solution, and is designed to take up about a third of a person’s stomach. The gastric balloon stays inside the patient’s stomach for about 4 to 6 months.
It is important to note that a gastric balloon is not a magic weight loss pill. The patient still needs to eat healthy and at the right proportions for weight loss to occur. Patients who have undergone gastric balloon placements in Singapore are also encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise in order to maximize one’s weight loss. After 4 - 6 months, the gastric balloon is removed and it is upon the patient’s decision, with a medical professional’s advice, if they would wish to have another placement.
Different types of gastric balloons are available in the market in Singapore, and each one has their own characteristics and advantages. Below is a list of the different types of gastric balloons available in Singapore.
Different types of Gastric Balloons in Singapore
Allurion is a product of Allurion Technologies, a company founded by Sammy Levy and Shantanu Gaur who were both medical professionals from Harvard Medical School. The two envisioned a revolutionary technology that could help people suffering from obesity and are having trouble following strict diets. Their goal was to create a product that could help people lose weight in a safe way without invasive surgery. Thus, Allurion was born.
The main advantage of Allurion is its superior technological innovations, making it as least invasive as possible. Allurion is the first swallowable gastric balloon that requires no surgery, no endoscopy, and no anesthesia.
The process is simple and takes only about 20 minutes. The balloon is simply swallowed by the patient while it is in its pill-like form and attached to a fine thin tube. An X-Ray is then done to make sure that the balloon is in place. Once the balloon is in place, it is filled with a sterile saline solution, then another X-Ray is done to make sure that it is filled to its optimum capacity and is in the right place. The doctor will then proceed to remove the tube and the balloon will remain in the patient’s stomach for about 16 weeks. After 16 weeks or so, a time-activated valve attached on the balloon will open, the liquid will flow out, and the balloon will naturally pass through the patient’s digestive system. No extraction needed, no endoscopy, no hassle, safe and effective.
Over 30,000 Allurion gastric balloons have been distributed in 38 countries. Allurion is designed to help you lose about 10% to 15% of your starting bodyweight, and according to one clinical study with 509 patients, 95% of average weight loss with Allurion can be sustained at the 12 month follow up. Allurion also provides a mobile app that you can use to help you keep track of your progress.
Orbera is also another intragastric balloon weight loss program. The product has been around for over 20 years and has distributed over 300,000 balloons worldwide. The main difference between this and Allurion is that Orbera requires an endoscopy and sedation through general anesthesia.
To place the balloon, an initial diagnostic endoscopy is done. After the endoscopy, the patient is sedated using general anesthesia and the balloon is placed through the esophagus and into the patient’s stomach. The balloon is then filled with a saline solution using a syringe. The balloon stays in the patient’s stomach for about 6 months.
After 6 months, the balloon is then removed through a procedure similar to the insertion process, followed by another 6 months of support from dietitians and fitness experts to continue the weight loss.
Spatz3 is similar to Orbera, as it needs an endoscopy and general sedation in order to be placed in the stomach, and stays for about 6 months in the patient’s stomach. The main advantage of Spatz3 over Orbera is that the Spatz3 gastric balloon’s volume can be changed. During the 4th or 5th month, the doctor can decide to add volume to the balloon in order to maximize results. Patients can have the volume increased or decreased depending on their needs.