Intragastric Balloon vs. Obalon Swallowable Pill Weight Loss System

If you are thinking about which gastric balloon is best for you, most branded types of stomach balloon deliver similar methods of restriction and weight loss results, both procedures are very similar in terms of balloon placement within the stomach, the method of placing the balloon into the stomach is what makes the difference between Obalon Pill Balloon versus Orbera, Spatz, and ReShape Duo.

  • Intragastric Ballon – a standard gastric balloon that is inserted (or placed) using an endoscope and filled with saline solution.
  • Obalon Pill Stomach Balloon – Obalon Balloon is inserted in a pill form by swallowing it Obalon is then filled with nitrogen gas.

Gastric Balloon Before and After Pictures female

Interested in Gastric Balloon in Mexico? Check Out Balloon Procedures, Costs, and Expected Results

Obalon Swallowable Pill Balloon System

OBALON Gastric Balloon System - FDA Approved Swallowable Pill

The Obalon Weight Loss Balloon is a newer procedure using a completely new method of placement via a pill capsule that is swallowed. The Obalon Balloon System is a swallowable intragastric stomach balloon system indicated for temporary use to facilitate weight loss in adults with obesity (BMI of 30 – 40 kg/m2) who have failed to lose weight through diet and exercise.

The Obalon pill does not require sedation, meaning any anesthesia required, as the patient simply swallows the pill capsule which is then inflated with gas. To ensure proper placement and balloon size, the patient is observed through an x-ray.  The Obalon balloon (pill) process is replicated two more times until the patient’s stomach holds 3 Obalon balloons.

  • The Obalon Balloon System is FDA approved in the United States.
  • The Obalon Balloon stays in the patient’s stomach for roughly six months.

Intragastric Balloon Non-Surgical Procedure

Orbera Gastric Balloon in Mexico - Orbera

Intra” means placed inside with a tube, or endoscope in this case. “Gastric” means stomach, or of/within the stomach. This means that the intragastric procedure is placed into the stomach using a medical instrument of some sort.

The different types of Intragastric Balloon procedures are balloon systems like Orbera, Spatz, and ReShape Duo. These gastric weight loss systems use an endoscope to place the balloon into the stomach. An endoscope is a narrow tube medical tool used to insert a balloon (with a camera to guide) through the patient’s esophagus and into the stomach.

With Intra-Gastric Balloon procedures (Orbera, Spatz, ReShape), the patient is lightly sedated to avoid the discomfort of the endoscopy.

  • Orbera, ReShape Duo, and Spatz 3 gastric balloons are also FDA-approved
  • Spatz3 balloon stays in the patient’s stomach for up to 12 months.

See a Complete Comparison Guide of Orbera vs ReShape Duo vs Spatz

Intragastric Balloon vs Obalon Pill: Complete Balloon Comparison

Balloon Type

Intragastric Ballon

Orbera Gastric Balloon

Obalon Pill

Obalon Balloon

Method of Weight LossRestrictiveRestrictive
Operating Time30 min20 Minutes (No surgical operating required)
InflatingSaline SolutionNitrogen Gas
Duration in StomachUp to 12 MonthsUp to 6 Months
Surgery Time30 Minutes12 Minutes
Pros/BenefitsGood option for patients who want a non-permanent optionNo Surgery Required. No Recovery Needed
  • Vomiting, Nausea Typical
  • Vomiting, Nausea Typical
  • Pressure, Cramping or Discomfort
Surgery Description
  • Intragastric Balloon uses endoscopy to place a balloon in the stomach
  • Removal by Endoscopy
  • Obalon Pill allows the patient to swallow the pill, which will then inflate
  • Removal by Endoscopy
Realistic ExpectationsPatients can expect to lose 35% of excess weight in 6 monthsThey say patients can lose 20 to 30 pounds in 12 weeks
Post Surgery Dietary InfoMultivitamin, Biotin, SeleniumUnknown
Candidate EfficacyGastric Balloon has been performed for years Not enough research data to prove efficacy

Which is Better? Gastric Balloon OR Obalon Pill?

The purpose of the Intragastric Balloon or Obalon is it being a less invasive non-surgical weight loss option. Many bariatric surgeons recommend that patients who are extremely obese, have gastric balloon before proceeding to other surgeries: duodenal switch, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve.

The most prominent gastric balloon systems are Orbera, Spatz3, and ReShape Duo Balloon.

If you are ready to change your life with Gastric Balloon in Mexico or any other weight loss surgery, click here to see if you qualify for our Health Questionnaire!

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