Many people around the world suffer from Obesity. There is a high demand for new strategies when it comes to preventions and medical treatments. Some Doctors are utilizing a newly FDA approved procedure that doesn’t require surgery such as the Obalon Gastric Balloon and other doctors still perform weight loss surgery but it’s not usually opted for by patients because of risks.

Obalon Balloon is removed endoscopically and administered with a balloon and catheter assembly. This nonsurgical weight loss balloon presents potential risks but doesn’t have the same risks associated with surgery. Below, I will be discussing the pros and the cons of each approach so you may determine which procedure is right for you.

What Is Endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure that allows surgeons to examine a person’s digestive tract without making large incisions. This specialized instrument is easily passed through the mouth and through and into the esophagus with a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it so your doctor can view within your body on a color tv monitor.

The Obalon Gastric Balloon is a prime example of how doctors use balloon endoscopy. After patients swallow a capsule containing the balloon, the doctor will then proceed to inflate the balloon with gas from a thin and flexible microcatheter. Once treatment is over, then doctors will use an endoscopic procedure, only requiring light sedation, to remove the balloons.

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What Is Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight loss surgery can come in a few different forms and can be an option if diet and exercise alone haven’t worked for you. The best options for surgery depends on your goals, health, and your surgeon’s recommendation. Keep in mind that weight loss surgery is not recommended for everyone. Doctors recommend it for people who have a (BMI) of 40 or more, have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight by other means, or people that have a lower BMI (but still obese) and have other serious health problems related to obesity.

Pros Of Endoscopic Weight Loss Balloon

Using an endoscope as a weight loss procedure provides more safety for obese patients and does not leave a lifelong scar. One major benefit of an endoscopic weight loss balloon such as the Obalon Balloon is the avoidance of invasive surgery and the risks associated with surgery. It’s a fast procedure that only takes about 15-20 minutes to remove all the balloons. It is also available to many people since the guidelines are not as strict as surgery. The Obalon Balloon has had great success with patients experiencing more weight loss than just with diet and exercise alone.

One major benefit of an endoscopic weight loss balloon such as the Obalon Balloon is the avoidance of invasive surgery and the risks associated with surgery.

Cons of Endoscopic Weight Loss Balloon

They are potential but minimal side effects associated with an endoscopic weight loss balloon that were found during the Obalon Balloon trials. Seven percent of those who participated in the trial experience discomfort, stomach cramps, and vomiting. The endoscopy can also cause damages to the stomach or esophagus if not administered diligently. The balloon itself also runs the risk of deflating but it is an extremely rare event.

Pros of Weight Loss Surgeries

Weight loss surgery can help the morbidly obese shed a lot of pounds and help reverse any conditions that appeared after gaining weight in the first place. Improvements in general health are common and weight loss often leads to other health benefits. Obesity-related medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, severe arthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and other conditions usually improve or even go away after surgery. About 95% of weight loss surgery patients say their quality of life is better and some studies even suggest people live longer than those equally obese who don’t get surgery.

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Cons of Weight Loss Surgeries

Weight loss surgeries can carry real risks. As many as 10% of people may have complications after surgery. Some complications such as wound infections, abdominal hernias, and blood clots may require additional surgery. Some serious complications may arise too but only happen about 3% of the time. A blood clot in the lungs, new surgical gut connection leaks, bleeding ulcers, and heart attacks are some of these serious complications that may be life-threatening and require immediate attention.

It is safe to say that any significant amount of weight loss can change and improve the quality of life of an obese person whether it be a weight loss balloon or weight loss surgery. The biggest deciding factor in how you wish to lose weight may be the risks associated with each approach. Your doctor may also determine which procedure is right for you depending on your current health, state of obesity, and BMI.

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