Although 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 vs Orbera, Spatz, and ReShape Duo.
Intragastric Balloons vs Obalon: Notable Differences
- IntraGastric Ballon Procedure/Method – a Gastric Balloon that is inserted (or placed) using an endoscope. The IntraGastric balloons are filled with saline solution.
- Obalon Procedure/Method – The Obalon Balloon is inserted in a pill form by swallowing it. The Obalon is then filled with nitrogen gas.
How the Obalon Weight Loss Balloon Works
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 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.
How the Intragastric Balloon Procedure Works
“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.
- The Orbera and ReShape Duo gastric balloons are also FDA approved, while the Spatz is not FDA approved.
- The Spatz balloon stays in the patient’s stomach for up to 12 months.
Intragastric Balloon vs Obalon Pill: Complete Balloon Comparison
|Method of Weight Loss||Restrictive||Restrictive|
|Operating Time||30 min||20 Minutes (No surgical operating required)|
|Inflating||Saline Solution||Nitrogen Gas|
|Duration in Stomach||Up to 12 Months||Up to 6 Months|
|Surgery Time||30 Minutes||12 Minutes|
|Pros/Benefits||Good option for patients who want a non-permanent option||No Surgery Required. No Recovery Needed|
|Realistic Expectations||Patients can expect to lose 35% of excess weight in 6 months||They say patients can lose 20 to 30 pounds in 12 weeks|
|Post Surgery Dietary Info||Multivitamin, Biotin, Selenium||Unknown|
|Candidate Efficacy||Gastric Balloon has been performed for years||Not enough research data to prove efficacy|
Why Choose Intragastric Balloon or Obalon
The purpose of 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.