New weight-loss pill delivers a gastric balloon into your stomach

A weight loss pill that releases a gastric balloon into a patient’s stomach when it is swallowed has been launched in the UK. While other gastric balloons require invasive surgery, the new 10-minute treatment involves the patient consuming a capsule the size of a large vitamin. When the capsule containing the balloon reaches the patient’s stomach, the ball is inflated to the size of an apple using an attached micro-catheter. The capsule then dissolves.

Swallowing a pill to lose weight usually means ingesting chemicals that suppress your appetite, but a new weight-loss pill in the UK contains nothing but a balloon. Obalon is a new gastric balloon treatment that comes in the form of a pill. It does not require any invasive surgery. Patients swallow the pill, which is attached to a micro-catheter. Once it arrives in the stomach, the micro-catheter inflates the balloon to the size of an apple. The micro-catheter is then removed. The idea behind the procedure, which takes roughly 10 minutes, is that the balloon gives patients the sensation of fullness; this means they eat less and subsequently lose weight.

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