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04-18-2017 | Obesity | Review | Article

Filling the Void: A Review of Intragastric Balloons for Obesity

Digestive Diseases and Sciences

Authors: Patrick Laing, Tuan Pham, Linda Jo Taylor, John Fang

Publisher: Springer US


Endoscopic bariatric therapies are predicted to become much more widely used in North America for obese patients who are not candidates for bariatric surgery. Of all the endoscopic bariatric therapies, intragastric balloons (IGBs) have the greatest amount of clinical experience and published data supporting their use. Three IGBs are FDA approved and are now commercially available in the USA (Orbera, ReShape Duo, and Obalon) with others likely soon to follow. They are generally indicated for patients whose BMI ranges from 30 to 40 mg/kg2 and who have failed to lose weight with diet and exercise. IGBs have been shown to be safe, effective, and relatively straightforward to place and remove. Accommodative symptoms commonly occur within the initial weeks post-placement; however, major complications are rare. Gastric ulceration can occur in up to 10% of patients, while balloon deflation with migration and bowel obstruction occurs in <1% of patients. The effectiveness of the Orbera and ReShape Duo IGBs ranges from 25 to 50% EWL (excess weight loss) after 6 months of therapy. The use of IGBs is likely to grow dramatically in the USA, and gastroenterologists and endoscopists should be familiar with their indications/contraindications, efficacy, placement/removal, and complications.