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Obalon® Non-Surgical Weight Loss Treatment

Losing weight through traditional methods like diet and exercise can be difficult or even impossible for many people, despite good intentions and best efforts. If you’re seeing only limited success with this approach and prefer a non-surgical solution to weight loss, the Obalon Balloon System may be able to help.

What Is the Obalon Balloon System?

The Obalon Balloon System is the first and only FDA-approved non-surgical weight loss system that can be swallowed—no sutures, knives, or anesthesia necessary. Once in position, these balloons can aid patients in their weight loss journey without requiring invasive treatment and still provide lasting results. In clinical trials, patients combining the Obalon System with proper diet and exercise were able to lose as much as twice as much weight compared to individuals who used diet and exercise alone. Furthermore, almost 90 percent of Obalon patients in the study were able to keep the weight off for at least one year. As a top bariatric surgeon, Dr. James Parrish offers this revolutionary option at our state-of-the-art practice.


ORBERA® vs. Obalon for Non-Surgical Weight Loss

Both ORBERA and Obalon are non-surgical weight loss treatments, and we offer both of these innovative procedures at our practice. While similar in some ways, there are differences between these two systems that can make one a better approach for a patient. ORBERA uses a single gastric balloon to achieve its goals. It is inserted through the esophagus by Dr. Parrish to ensure it is placed where it should be, and then inflated. The patient is mildly sedated for the procedure. After six months, the balloon is removed (through the same procedure as the one in which it was placed). The aftercare program begins at this point to provide the best possible outcome.

Obalon uses three balloons rather than one, each of which are placed in the stomach over the course of three months. No sedation is needed to place the balloons; they are swallowed in a small capsule, and then Dr. Parrish will inflate the balloons to the desired size. Six months from the initial placement, all of the balloons will be removed. The balloons are removed through the esophagus, and light sedation will be used to make you comfortable. You will then continue the program with the aftercare steps.

Dr. Parrish can help you determine which treatment is ideal for your lifestyle, needs, and goals. For some patients, you may have a choice between the procedures.

Benefits of the Obalon Weight Loss Balloon

The Obalon Balloon System is an exciting new bariatric technique that offers many benefits, including:

  • Non-surgical treatment; no incisions required
  • Placement of balloons can take as little as 10 minutes
  • No downtime following placement of the balloons
  • Clinical studies suggest patients can lose 2x as much weight with the Obalon Balloon System combined with healthy eating and regular exercise compared with using diet and exercise alone
  • Clinical studies also show an average of 89.5% of total weight lost through the Obalon Weight Loss System remaining off after one year

Candidates for the Obalon Weight Loss System

The Obalon Weight Loss System is FDA-approved for patients 22 years and older who have a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 30 and 40. Additionally, individuals considering this treatment should be dedicated to following a healthy nutrition plan and fitness program, as the Obalon Balloon System works in combination with these healthy habits to achieve significant weight loss. If you are pregnant, have difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules, or previously had a GI surgery, another bariatric procedure may be better suited to your needs and goals. We can discuss all of your options during the initial consultation.

The Obalon Procedure

The gastric balloon is actually a series of three balloons that are placed inside capsules that can be swallowed and inflated with a simple procedure. Balloons are ingested individually and inflated in our office, and the process occurs over the course of several months. When the capsules reach the stomach, they will dissolve and the balloons inside will be inflated with gas via a microcatheter, reducing the capacity of the stomach. As a result, patients typically feel fuller with less food, helping to stimulate more weight loss. The balloons are left in place for six months, after which point they are removed endoscopically. No incisions should be needed.

Obalon Recovery and Aftercare

Most individuals experience no downtime following the ingestion and inflation of the balloons, as no anesthesia is necessary to complete the treatment. Patients typically wait three weeks between the placement of one balloon and the next. Six months after the placement of the first balloon, all three balloons will be removed via an endoscopic procedure. For this experience, conscious sedation will be utilized to enhance your comfort. Weight loss aftercare includes continuing the healthy habits and activity levels you developed while using the Obalon Balloon System to preserve your weight loss long-term.

Obalon Results

Obalon Before
Obalon After
Obalon Before
Obalon After
Obalon has been instrumental in helping thousands of patients lose weight and keep it off. One of the many benefits of this procedure is that it helps teach patients healthy habits that they can maintain once the treatment ends. Individuals who use Obalon and follow the diet and exercise program can lose up to two times as much weight as with diet and exercise alone. And 89 percent of people who used Obalon kept the weight off for at least six months past the balloon removal date (one year after beginning). The amount of weight one can lose on this system will vary from person to person based on their commitment to the diet and exercise plan, body mass index (BMI), genetics, and other factors.

Possible Side Effects of the Obalon Balloon System

As Obalon is a non-surgical procedure, many of the common side effects attributed to surgical bariatric procedures are a non-issue for this treatment. The balloons are designed to fill up the stomach to make the patient feel more full after eating, reducing calorie intake. Some individuals experience symptoms of nausea and mild abdominal pain. These effects are uncommon and they may pass. If they continue to be an issue, the device can be removed and another approach may be tried, if desired. It’s very important to avoid certain prescription and over-the-counter medications that could affect the integrity of the balloon (causing collapse). In the unlikely event the balloon deflates, it could cause an obstruction, which is a serious and life-threatening concern. We will monitor your treatment and provide advice if you have any questions throughout the program to preserve your health and help you reach your goals.

Obalon Balloon System Cost

Your treatment plan will be customized to suit your needs and lifestyle, and several factors will play a role in the total cost of your program. We routinely offer seasonal specials, so please contact us to learn if there are any discounts available. During your initial consultation, we will discuss the estimated expense for your Obalon treatment, so that you can be well-informed about your options and know what to expect. While many medical insurance policies cover the cost of bariatric treatment, we can help you find financing if you are paying out of pocket.

Obalon Pricing

Thank you Dr. Parrish for giving me my life back. I have been a very persistent patient, Dr Parrish has been awesome. I have lost over 90 lb. And before I’ve been very sick. Now I’m well again.

Michelle Hoben

May 22, 2016


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Obalon

  • Is Obalon covered by insurance?

    The best way to determine if your medical insurance plan covers the cost of Obalon is to talk with your representative. Many insurance companies currently do not provide coverage for the Obalon Balloon System; however, medical financing options are available to help you bring the cost of treatment into your budget.
  • How big are the balloons and will they stretch my stomach?

    The balloons are quite small, weighing approximately three grams (less than a penny) each. They are inflated to reach about 250cc in volume, and all three together comprise 750cc in volume. Dr. Parrish can demonstrate the size in the office so you can get a good idea beforehand. These balloons are not designed to “stretch your stomach.” They only make you feel full with less food. Keep in mind, the stomach naturally stretches while eating, particularly when consuming a large meal, and goes back to its normal size afterwards, therefore some stretching is expected and normal.
  • Is there a special diet or exercise regimen I will need to follow?

    Your diet and exercise plan is an essential part of achieving success, and we will help you craft a program that optimizes your outcome. By learning healthier habits, you will be more likely to lose weight and keep it off once the balloons are removed, as well as maintain your results long after the treatment is finished. We will take into consideration your lifestyle and food preferences when creating the regimen, but it’s important to be ready to modify your previous eating and fitness habits to obtain the desired outcome.
  • Will I have any limitations or restrictions once the balloons are placed?

    You can return to normal activity immediately after the procedure, which usually takes about 10-15 minutes. You should avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) that can damage the balloons. Some examples of NSAIDS are Motrin® and Advil®. We can provide a full list during your initial consultation.
  • How are the balloons removed?

    The balloons will be removed during a brief procedure six months after the placement of the first balloon. You will need to be lightly sedated (you will remain conscious), and the balloons will be deflated and removed through your esophagus. You may need to remain for a short period for the anesthesia to wear off, after which you may go about your business as usual. After the balloons are removed, you will need to continue following your diet and exercise regimen and following the aftercare plan to maintain and potentially enhance your results. Many patients continue to lose weight as they incorporate healthier eating into their lives.

Schedule an Obalon Consultation

Interested in learning more about the Obalon Balloon System? Contact our practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. Parrish and find out if this method can help you achieve your health and weight loss goals.