Weight Loss Review: Orbera®, Spatz, and Allurion Gastric Balloon
Weight loss is something many people around the world aspire to achieve every year for various reasons. It may be to prevent obesity and better their health; it can be to improve their physical appearance.
There are many diet fads and exercise regimens available out there that you can try out. With that said, it does not mean you have to sacrifice your health in the process. Not eating is not a proper and healthy way of losing. Your weight loss journey requires proper and informed planning of diets and activities that suit your body and lifestyle.
However, trying to lose weight is not as easy as it sounds. For some, especially those who are working professionals, they may not have enough time to plan a proper weight loss regime. On the other hand, not all can lose significant amounts of weight through diet and exercise alone, regardless of how long they try.
As a result, solutions like gastric balloons have risen in popularity. Gastric balloons are nonsurgical weight loss options. It does so by taking up space in your stomach, making you feel fuller longer and thus, causing you to eat less.
There are different types of gastric balloons out in the market, and choosing one may be difficult. To help you, here is a review of the three most popular gastric balloons out there: Orbera®, Spatz3, and Allurion.
Orbera® is one of the longest brands of gastric balloons in the market.
Before the procedure, a diagnostic endoscopy is done to make sure your body’s ready for the procedure. Once mildly sedated, the deflated gastric balloon is passed through a tube placed in your mouth, through the esophagus, to your stomach. It’s then filled with a sterile saline solution using a syringe.
The procedure may take around 30 to 40 minutes. After six months, the balloon is removed through a similar process as its placement. Within half a year, it’s found that you can achieve 12% total body weight loss.
However, much like other medical devices, Orbera® comes with some risks and possible complications. Upon placement, you can expect to feel some nausea, throwing up, pain, and acid reflux, as your body is still getting used to the balloon.
Furthermore, a U.S. clinical study shows that within 160 people (125 of which have Orbera® gastric balloons placed), 39 reported nausea, 137 reported pain or discomfort, 121 reported throwing up, and 48 reported acid reflux, following the day they had Orbera®. Also, 7.5% of patients have early balloon removal due to various reasons. To learn more about Orbera Gastric Balloons, visit their website here.
Spatz3 has many similarities to other gastric balloons available in the market. With that said, unlike other brands, Spatz3 has a dynamic-adjustable balloon system.
A standard endoscopy with sedation is performed before the procedure. Still under sedation, the balloon is placed in the stomach through mouth insertion. It is then filled with a sterile saline solution through a small filling tube attached to the balloon. The filled balloon occupies approximately one-third of the stomach’s volume. As a result, it makes you feel full longer.
Studies show that Spatz3 can diminish after three months. As it is an adjustable balloon, you can have the balloon volume increased between the 4th and 6th month to prolong the weight loss results. At the same time, you can decrease its volume to avoid your body’s intolerance to the gastric balloon.
Spatz3 can result in an average of 14% total body weight loss within 6 months. After the treatment period, the balloon is removed through a similar procedure, again with the help of sedation.
You may feel nausea, cramping, vomiting, and heartburn, especially during the first 3 to 5 days after the procedure. Other possible side effects may include the following:
- Peptic Ulcer
- Aspiration Pneumonia
- Esophageal/Gastric Perforation
- Gastro-Esophageal Reflux
- Gastric Balloon Deflation
- Intestinal Obstruction
- Balloon Hyperinflation
Lastly, 7.5% of patients have had early balloon removal, again, due to various reasons. To learn more about Spatz3 Gastric Balloon, visit their website here.
Similarly, Allurion helps you reduce your food intake by taking up space in your stomach. However, unlike other gastric balloons, Allurion does not require any surgery, endoscopy, or anaesthesia. The deflated balloon comes in a swallowable capsule, the size of a pill, which is attached to a thin catheter. To learn more about Allurion Gastric Balloon, visit their website here.
Your surgeon will help you swallow the capsule with a glass of water. 99.9% of people succeed in swallowing the Allurion balloon. If you have trouble doing so, your surgeon can help by stiffening the catheter with a thin wire.
Once swallowed, you’ll undergo X-ray to assure proper placement. The vegetarian capsule then dissolves and the balloon is filled with 550ml of water using a tube until it’s the size of a grapefruit. A second X-ray is done to make sure the balloon is properly filled. The whole procedure only takes up to 20 minutes.
As a result, it makes you feel satisfied with smaller food portions. It also reduces cravings as the food stays longer in the stomach, creating a feeling of fullness.
Furthermore, Allurion doesn’t require a removal procedure like other gastric balloons. After approximately 4 months, a time-activated release valve opens, causing the balloon to deflate. Afterwhich, the remnants of the balloon are naturally excreted out of the body when you go to the toilet. 45% of people don’t notice the balloon passing.
It’s normal to experience nausea, abdominal cramping, and occasional vomiting initially after balloon placement. There’s nothing to worry about as these symptoms are well-controlled with the prescribed medications.
Most Allurion users noticed an average of 10-15% weight loss within these 4 months. With that said, a temporary balloon does not mean temporary weight loss. Allurion helps you set up a sustainable weight loss journey.
Allurion helps you by setting up a fully-supported lifestyle program alongside your gastric balloon placement. You will work with a team, consisting of a surgeon and nutritionist, to guide you in changing your weight loss diet and exercise regimen to suit you. This creates a holistic approach to weight loss. Furthermore, you're also set up with the Allurion smart scale and app, where you and your professional healthcare team can monitor your progress.
With this maintenance program, you can achieve 95% of average weight loss at the 12-month follow up. Not only 50,000+ placement was done worldwide, it is also available in Europe, USA, Asia and Middle Eastern countries.
This is how Orbera®, Spatz3, and Allurion can help you in your weight loss journey. Again, it’s important to not go into the process blindly. Create smart and informed choices. Consult with your surgeon regarding which option gives you the best results in the safest ways.