Use of new swallowable gastric balloon results in substantial weight loss

May 17, 2017

New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Porto, Portugal (17-20 May) shows that a swallowable gastic balloon - that can be inserted without endoscopy or anaesthesia - is a safe and effective way to induce substantial weight loss. The study is by Dr Roberta Ienca, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, and colleagues.

Intragastric balloons (IGBs) have been used as weight loss devices for decades. Their mechanism of action is likely multifactorial, but they appear to make it easier to adhere to a low calorie diet by inducing feelings of fullness (satiety). However, all IGBs have historically required endoscopy and sedation resulting in a low adoption rate and high cost.

In this new study, the authors evaluated the efficacy and safety of a new swallowable IGB (Elipse™ Balloon, Allurion Technologies, MA, USA), not needing endoscopy or anaesthesia, optimised to reduce risk and discomfort, in combination with a very low calorie ketogenic diet (low calorie and low carbohydrate) (VLCKD) in the final month of therapy. The researchers did a prospective, non-randomised study in 50 obese individuals (BMI 30-45 kg/m2) who had failed to lose weight by diet alone and who had refused other IGB treatment, because of the need of an endoscopy and/or anesthesia, and were offered the Elipse Balloon.

The balloon was swallowed under fluoroscopy and then filled with 550mL of liquid. The balloon remains in the stomach for 16 weeks after which it spontaneously opens, empties, and is excreted. Follow-up was performed every 2 weeks. In the last 4 weeks of treatment, a ketogenic diet (~700 kcal/day) was introduced to enhance weight loss and maximise the results to increase patient satisfaction. Once the balloon was excreted, patients were transitioned to a Mediterranean diet for weight maintenance.

A total of 42 patients (29 men and 13 women) patients were enrolled. Eight of the original 50 patients were contraindicated for balloon implantation for various reasons (see notes below).

Mean age was 46 years, mean initial weight was 110 kg, and mean initial BMI was 39 kg/m2. After 16 weeks, the mean weight loss was 15.2 kg, mean % excess weight loss was 31%, and mean BMI reduction was 4.9 kg/m2. At 4, 8 and 12 weeks a mean weight loss of 5.4 kg, 8.9 kg and 11.5 kg was observed, respectively. In the VLCKD period (the final four weeks), a mean weight loss of 3.7 kg, was observed, similar to that seen between weeks 4 and 8.

There were no serious adverse events recorded. All other adverse events including nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain were either self-limiting or resolved with medication. Significant reductions were also observed in comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and metabolic syndrome.

Dr Ienca concludes: "The Elipse Balloon appears to be a safe and effective weight loss method. Furthermore, the introduction of a VLCKD improves weight loss. Because the Elipse Balloon does not require endoscopy, surgery or anaesthesia, this may make it suitable for a larger population of obese patients not responding to diet/lifestyle treatment; and also for use by a variety of clinicians -- nutritionists, dietitians, and internists -- who currently do not have access to or are qualified to fit endoscopic or surgical weight loss devices. Furthermore, the absence of endoscopy and anaesthesia for placement and removal can lead to a significant cost savings."

European Association for the Study of Obesity

Related Weight Loss Articles from Brightsurf:

Weight loss shouldn't be the goal of PE
For adults, the goal of exercise is often to shed some pounds, but new research from the University of Georgia suggests the objective should be different for kids.

How long should you fast for weight loss?
Two daily fasting diets, also known as time-restricted feeding diets, are effective for weight loss, according to a new study.

Green tea may help with weight loss efforts
In an analysis published in Phytotherapy Research of randomized controlled trials, individuals who consumed green tea experienced a significant decline in body weight and body mass index.

Changing weight-loss strategies, attempts
The proportion of adults who tried to lose weight in the previous year increased from 1999 to 2016 but the findings of this observational study suggest the results may have been unsatisfactory.

Quality of life changes after weight loss
Obesity increases a number of adverse health consequences including reduced health-related quality of life.

Weight loss medicines underutilized by veterans
Despite the availability of new weight management medications and several clinical guidelines recommending their use as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for obesity, a new study has found that their use is extremely low (about one percent) among eligible Veterans.

Is the most effective weight-loss strategy really that hard?
Dietary self-monitoring is the best predictor of weight-loss success. But the practice is viewed as so unpleasant and time-consuming, many would-be weight-losers won't adopt it.

Study: Faster weight loss no better than slow weight loss for health benefits
Losing weight slowly or quickly won't tip the scale in your favor when it comes to overall health, according to new research.

Mindfulness training may help support weight loss
Mindfulness training may improve the effectiveness of intensive weight management programs, according to a small study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Does weight loss before surgery provide benefits?
For obese and overweight patients, it is common for various surgical procedures to be deferred until they have lost weight through diet and exercise.

Read More: Weight Loss News and Weight Loss Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to