Obalon is a diet pill that contains a balloon that will expand within your stomach in order to suppress the appetite. It is only available from private healthcare providers and can only be removed by an endoscopy.
Below we have reviewed Obalon against our review criteria to help consumers make an informed decision.
- Supported by clinical trials
- Provided by a private healthcare company after consultations to ensure that it is right for you
- Not as invasive as other, similar treatments
- Users will be monitored by healthcare professionals throughout to avoid side effects
- Endoscopy is required to remove the balloons
- Potential side effects could be very damaging
- Not everyone will be eligible for the treatment
- Only available through private healthcare in the UK
This diet pill is different to the norm: it is not a pill to be digested into your system, but rather one that will sit in your stomach for the next twelve weeks in the form of a balloon. It takes up space and should leave you feeling fuller; you will have the option during your treatment to add up to two more balloons – though each one will cost you more on top of the initial cost; this is not a service that can be had for free on the NHS – it is only available privately. Clinical trials have been done into the product, but only certain people will be eligible to take it.
Claimed weight loss benefits
Unlike other weight loss supplements, Obalon only claims to work in one way: it should suppress your appetite for the length of the twelve weeks that it remains in your system. After this, the appetite suppression will no longer continue, so you will need to look to a healthier diet and exercise regime to maintain the weight loss. There are no other weight loss effects associated with the treatment.
How Obalon Works
You will need to go for a number of consultations before you start the treatment, as Obalon is only available for those who meet the eligibility requirements, and so you will learn all that you need to during these sessions. When you take the Obalon capsule it is attached to a thin micro-catheter, and as soon as it hits your stomach a doctor will use this micro catheter to expand the balloon to about the size of an apple. The process continues with a possible second and third balloon added if it seems like it is needed later on, and overall the treatment should last for twelve weeks, after which an endoscopy will be performed in order to retrieve the balloon.
The appetite suppression should be caused by the fact that the balloon sits inside your stomach and takes up space which ought to have been filled with food as you were eating, so you will feel full quicker even though you are eating less food than normal. You may also get hungry less often, as your stomach feels full for longer thanks to the presence of the balloon.
This is the first weight loss balloon you are able to swallow that has been developed and brought to market, and although there is quite a sizeable balloon contained within it, the capsule itself is in fact very small.
The treatment lasts for twelve weeks, so you should be eating smaller portion sizes and getting a lower calorie intake during this time. After the first thirty days, you will be able to return for your second consultation, at which time you may be able to take a second balloon if it is deemed necessary – in order to make you feel even fuller than before and restrict your need to eat even more. Then after sixty days, you will be able to return for a third consultation, and you may have a third balloon added to help you even more and to increase your satiety levels. At the end of the twelve-week period, the balloons will then all be removed through an endoscopic procedure, during which you may be sedated. If at the end of this time you have not lost all of the weight that you would like to, you can try again with another course of the treatment.
Key Obalon Ingredients
While normally we would be talking about the ingredients, natural or otherwise, which are included in a diet pill supplement in this section, the interesting thing about Obalon is that it is not meant to be digested or to enter the system itself. Rather, the balloon will sit in your stomach to take up space when it has been inflated, and then will be removed at the end of the twelve-week treatment period, rather than dissolving or being absorbed.
Because of this, perhaps a more appropriate way to look at this weight loss supplement would be to explore the particular materials that the balloon is made of. There are four main elements to this capsule while it remains inside you: there is the shell of the capsule, which is designed to break away and dissolve when it enters your stomach and comes into contact with your stomach acids. There is the balloon itself, which sits inside you, and the micro-catheter that is attached to it in order to allow it to be inflated once it is in the right place. Lastly, there is the gas, which is used to inflate the balloon.
Unfortunately, although we can identify all of these elements, there is very little information to be found about the materials that are used in each of them. One thing that we do know is that the company behind this product owns patents on a number of intra-gastric devices and balloons, some of which are self-inflating, and the Obalon balloon will be represented by one of these. The compound that it is created from is likely to be unique, designed to protect the balloon from digestive processes whilst also keeping it safe for consumption, and so the company are most likely keeping it under wraps to prevent other companies from developing their own versions.
One of the good things about Obalon is that we can actually look at some clinical trials that have been carried out on the product itself, which is a big advantage over other diet pill supplements – in most cases, we can only take a look at studies that have been done on the ingredients which are contained in the pill and then draw some conclusions from there. In this case, we can tell you exactly what has been found when clinical trials were done on Obalon.
The Obalon site will tell you all about a clinical trial that was carried out on the capsules, which saw participants using the balloon for the full twelve week period that is normally used for the treatment.
The average weight loss over the twelve weeks for those participants was 8kg, which is the equivalent of 1st 3lbs. This was about fifty per cent of the excess weight that the participants were carrying, so they would be able to lose all of the weight that they were looking to after just two courses of Obalon. This trial was conducted at eleven sites across four countries, so it was done on a wide scale and could certainly be taken as a great way to measure the efficacy of the product.
Going into more detail with this trial, we can learn that there were one hundred and nineteen patients included in the study, most of them women. All of them were given a single balloon at first, just under half were given a second balloon, and just six patients went on to have the third balloon as well. One hundred and ten of them completed at least eight weeks of treatment, and the weight loss that they experienced in terms of the percentage is similar to that which can be experienced through gastric banding or gastric bypass surgery (which are of course much more invasive and serious procedures).
Obalon Side Effects
The manufacturers have warned that there are a number of side effects, after having been tested in the clinical trials. These include, but are not limited to, bowel obstruction; reflux and indigestion; stomach discomfort; digestive issues; bloating; ulcers; injuries to the mouth or throat; and liquid lodging in the airway of the lung. The side effects that will almost definitely be experienced for the first day or two after the treatment begins include some discomfort in the stomach area. You may also experience nausea and vomiting, though there is medication provided to fight these effects.
Most of the side effects that were discovered through the clinical trials were contained to the first day or two after the first balloon had been inflated. In most cases, the side effects go away after your body has got used to the balloon, and after you have started to eat solid foods again.
There are also other side effects which may occur as a result of undergoing the treatment, and which were not found in the clinical trial. These could include the deflation of the balloon – which could potentially be fatal if it results in bowel obstruction – reflux, indigestion, stomach pain or cramps, constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, a gastric ulcer, or potentially an injury to the stomach or oesophagus from the micro-catheter.
You must also take into account that the endoscopy that is used to remove the balloon may cause some complications and side effects. In this case, they could include abdominal discomfort, a sore throat, an injury to the digestive tract, and bronchial aspiration (which is a liquid or fluid getting lodged in the airways of the lungs as it passes out from the stomach).
In addition to these side effects, an urgent safety warning was issued by the MHRA that anyone using the balloon should not go to any area that is higher than 660 metres above the sea level, as the lower air pressure at these altitudes will result in over-inflation of the balloon. For those who wish to try it in the UK, they should be advised that some of the larger hills and mountains across the UK are above this level, including Ben Nevis, Snowdon, and Scafell Pike.
How to Use
If you want to try out Obalon for yourself in order to see whether or not it works for you, there is a certain process that you have to follow. The good news in this case, as opposed to most diet pills or solutions, is the fact that you will have a team of medical professionals around you to walk you through the whole process. You have to attend the consultations at the right time, take in all of the advice that your consultant offers to you, and follow the instructions that you are given in terms of safety and the best kind of diet to follow.
Some of the warnings or advice that comes along with the Obalon balloons can be found online, and so we can share that with you now in order to give you an idea of what to expect should you attempt to go ahead with the treatment. At the start of the treatment, when you first have the balloon inflated within your stomach, you should only stick to soup or other soft foods such as yoghurt for the first day. Then you should start eating solid foods from the second day, and follow a healthy diet plan of whatever you would like to eat after that.
It is advised that you follow a healthy diet plan in order to see good weight loss results, so they recommend reducing consumption of high calorie drinks and foods such as sweets, chocolate, milkshakes, smoothies, alcohol, and other poor diet choices. You are normally allowed to continue with an exercise regime and daily activities which you might be involved in, though some particular activities are to be avoided, such as scuba diving, travelling in an unpressurised airplane cabin, or visiting areas which are 660 metres or more above the sea level.
After the balloon has been removed following the twelve weeks of treatment, you will be able to do whatever you want to again – though it is recommended that you try to stick to a healthy diet and exercise regime as before, in order to avoid putting the weight back on.
Who Makes It?
When looking into the company who came up with Obalon and who created the balloon pills, we find that the makers are also called Obalon. They are based in San Diego, and they only focus on gastric balloon technology, working with leading clinicians to develop their medical products.
In order to talk about the actual treatments and the way that the pill is administered, however, it is necessary to turn to Spire Healthcare, which is based in the UK. It is a private healthcare company that has thirty seven private hospitals throughout the country, and which was built on a foundation of more than twenty five years of experience in the field. The company was created when they bought BUPA Hospitals in 2007, and the sale of Classics Hospitals and Thames Valley Hospital in 2008. Spire Healthcare treats more than 930,000 patients every year.
There are more than 3,000 surgeons and specialists who perform work for the company, with both private and NHS patients included in their figures. They hold the distinction of being the first private hospital provider to have published outcomes data on their website, and they have also received a number of awards for their clinical quality. They offer a wide range of different treatments, which demonstrates that they as a company are proficient on a large scale of medical fields.
Where to Buy Obalon
Unlike most diet pills or weight loss supplements, you cannot buy Obalon in a shop or get it over the counter at a pharmacy. It cannot be purchased online either, largely due to the fact that the treatment has to be administered by a trained doctor and that the balloon must be removed through a small surgical procedure also.
In order to get your hands on Obalon, you first have to attend a series of consultations in order to assess your eligibility for the pill and also to discuss the way that the treatment works. It is only available through private healthcare, and is administered by the company Spire Healthcare within the UK at their private facilities. You cannot get Obalon treatment unless you go through this process.
Patients need to have a BMI of 27 or more to be considered for the treatment. You should also be aware that you should not have any other existing health problems if you intend to take the treatment, as they could affect whether or not Obalon works for you and how well it works. Then you should find out where your nearest clinic or hospital is that offers Obalon (which you can do through their postcode locator), and book a consultation to discuss the possibility of trying the weight loss balloons.
In terms of cost, you will find that there are three options that you can go for depending on how many balloons you need. If you have one balloon, then the total fixed price for the full treatment works out to £1995. For two balloons it would be £2995, and for three balloons it would be £3995. The prices should cover everything that is needed throughout the treatment.
Does Obalon Meet our Approved Criteria
Money-back-guarantee: There is no mention of a money-back guarantee.
One-off payment: The product is sold via private healthcare providers for a one-off payment.
Manufacturing Standard: The product has been approved for use by healthcare professionals in Europe.
Accompanying Diet Plan: Dietary advice will be provided by healthcare professionals.
Ingredients and quantities disclosed: This is a mechanical product without any herbal ingredients.
Company contact details readily available: Contact details are available on the official website.
Obalon does meet our ‘Approved’ criteria as it has been approved for use by healthcare professionals in Europe.
There is clinical evidence to back up the weight loss properties of Obalon, which indicates that it works to aid weight loss. The treatments are carried out by a private healthcare company, which means that you will be monitored throughout and any possible side effects might be neutralised by your doctor, and it also means that the treatment can be adjusted to suit the individual. It costs up to £3995 for one course of twelve weeks of treatment – and is not available on the NHS, so you will need to be able to pay for it yourself. It is much more invasive than other diet pills, with the need to surgically remove the balloon at the end of the twelve weeks. There are also potential risks associated with the procedures, particularly when inflating and removing the balloons.Google+
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