Sci/Tech Swallowable gastric balloon could help the obese lose weight without surgery

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    A balloon that can be swallowed and then filled with water while in the stomach can help obese people to lose large amounts of weight without invasive surgery, a new study has shown.

    Bariatric surgery to reduce the size of the stomach is highly effective, but anaesthesia for somebody who is very overweight can be risky. Those who want to undergo the surgery must also undergo a long period of preparation to ready them physically and psychologically. It is expensive, and there is a long waiting list in the UK, even though NHS guidance recommends it be considered.

    The balloon is swallowed like a pill, but with a long thin tube attached. Ultrasound is used to determine when the balloon is in place in the stomach, and it is then filled with water through the tube. The tube then detaches and is pulled back up the throat and out.

    Unlike gastric surgery, the balloon is a temporary measure. After 16 weeks, it bursts in the stomach, the water is released and the balloon itself is excreted.

    A small study presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal, showed that the 38 patients enrolled in the trial had lost a mean 15.2kg (33.5 lbs) by the end of the 16 weeks, which amounted to about a third (mean 31%) of their excess weight.

    Read more here. (The Guardian UK)
     

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