You’re looking at the medical device called the Obalon. It’s a special balloon designed to be swallowed (prior to inflation, of course) and take up space in the stomach to accelerate the feeling of fullness for overweight patients. The procedure takes less than 15 minutes and doesn’t require sedation. You just swallow it in a capsule, and then an inflation catheter is used to fill it with Nitrogen gas. After reaching its full volume, the catheter is removed and the Obalon stays in place. Unlike other gastric balloons which are filled with saline, the fact that Nitrogen is used helps it stay afloat near the top of the stomach. Used in conjunction with lifestyle changes, the Obalon remains inside the stomach for up to 12 weeks, during which time clinical trials have shown a “potential 50.2 percent reduction in excess body weight, a potential reduction of 8.3 percent in total body weight and a 2.8 point reduction in BMI over the three month treatment period.”
Granted it’s not a miracle cure since the stomach doesn’t get a chance to shrink during treatment, but it is hoped that the simultaneous efforts to change diet and lifestyle will remain even after the Obalon is removed. It’s currently approved for use in the UK market, but is waiting on FDA approval for use stateside.
VIA [ Gizmag ]