If you see that you meet basic eligibility requirements – like not having had weight loss surgery before and being willing and able to take medication for acid reflux that may be caused by the balloons – you may have already begun the mental process of preparing for Obalon therapy. The Obalon Balloon system and Obalon Balloon diet both involve a significant investment of time, effort, and money, so it’s very important to make sure that you are prepared to put in the required time and effort to get the best results you can. Below are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re fully prepared for the Obalon treatment before you start.
1. Double-Check Your Eligibility
While the Obalon Balloon system is an effective, it is not ideal for everyone. If your doctor has already approved you for the system, you can skip this section. If you’re still investigating treatments, then it may be helpful to read the full explanation of who can get the balloon. Generally speaking, the most important criteria to know are the following:
- You must be 22 years of age or older.
- Your BMI must be between 30 and 40.
- You must not have had prior weight loss surgery.
However, there may be other conditions or diagnoses you have that disqualify you from obtaining the balloon therapy. These include a diagnosis of bulimia, compulsive overeating disorder, or other eating disorders that may get in the way of your progress with Obalon. Certain stomach and bowel conditions may also mean that Obalon isn’t for you. To make sure that you’re eligible, your doctor will discuss your medical history with you. If you and your doctor determine that you are eligible for the Obalon system, then it may be helpful to ask yourself the next few questions.
2. Ask Yourself if You’re Ready to Deal With Some Mild Discomfort
While the Obalon system is non-invasive and doesn’t involve significant medical procedures, it does take some dealing with mild discomfort. The placing of the balloons themselves is essentially painless, as is the removal. Some patients have reported that, at first, the balloons are noticeable. This is expected, as the balloons are designed to take up space in your stomach. However, most patients quickly adjust to the feeling and don’t notice the balloons after a few days. The balloons sometimes can cause mild acid reflux or GERD, but your doctor will prescribe a proton-pump inhibitor to help prevent this side effect.
Some patients have reported that, at first, the balloons are noticeable. This is expected, as the balloons are designed to take up space in your stomach. However, most patients quickly adjust to the feeling and don’t notice the balloons after a few days.
Ultimately, while some patients have noted that there is an adjustment period, most find that they adjust fairly easily and that they quickly adapt. If you are experiencing discomfort as a patient, be sure to talk to your doctor, as he or she can help you to treat or minimize these effects.
3. Ask Yourself if You’re Willing to Commit to a Lifestyle Change
Perhaps one of the most important things to remember about the Obalon Balloon System is the fact that, while this treatment generally allows patients to lose almost twice as much weight as those only relying on diet and exercise, it is not designed to be a magic pill. Part of Obalon’s success is the fact that patients adopt the Obalon Balloon diet and start a physician-supervised exercise program.
Part of the idea of this therapy is to learn to make healthier choices that can support lasting weight loss. While the balloons help you limit what you eat and may have some effects on gut hormones or hunger hormones, most Obalon Balloon system patients keep the weight off after the balloons are removed. This is likely due to patients continuing to eat healthily and continue a routine of moderate exercise.
In short, choosing Obalon is a major step toward better health and wellness, but if you’re considering it, it’s important to ask yourself if you’re eligible, if you’re prepared to deal with a bit of mild discomfort (usually only right after balloon placement), and if you’re ready to put in the lifestyle efforts necessary for the best results. When you have the combination of a skilled physician, a patient who is eager to work toward a lifestyle change, and the Obalon Balloon system, chances are vert good that you’ll be well on your way to an excellent outcome.