A third of the world is now overweight or obese. These figures are staggering with no hope in sight. Are we expected to diet our way back to health when it is proven that only radical interventions can create  substantial and lasting weight-loss?

A new gastric balloon introduced at the European Congress of Weight-Loss Surgery this month promises to be the safer solution for weight-loss. The OGB (Obalon Gastric Balloon, Obalon Therapeutics, San Diego, Ca.) is a novel inflatable balloon that is swallowed in a tiny capsule, then inflated to the size of a small hamburger and left in the stomach for a period of time. Though balloons are not a new idea, most of the designs that made it to clinical trials required endoscopy under anesthesia to be placed and produced less than 20% excess weight-loss.

This new device called the OGB requires nothing more than a simple swallow of a pill. Because of it’s simplicity, during the treatment phase when the patient starts tolerating more food and stops losing weight a second even a third balloon can be swallowed and re-establish the satiety the balloon induces and result in additional weight-loss.

Dr Ariel Ortiz Lagardere, world renowned weight loss surgeon and the Director of Bariatric surgery at obesity control center, Baja, Mexico presented the outcomes from a pilot study. At the IFSO-european chapter, in Barcelona, Spain, he said, “this novel gastric device is highly durable, maintains inflation, can be easily removed, demonstrates excellent tolerance and most importantly have a strong safety profile.” The first observational prospective trials took place in 2011. A total of 28 patients underwent the procedure, no complications or adverse effects were reported and the balloons were well tolerated.

Excess weight-loss was a surprising 35.5% in the whole group, since the trial period was very short: 3 months. Additional trials have taken place in Belgium and in France, both reporting 50% excess weight-loss at three months. “With the epidemic overtaking the world and no real solution in sight, this device may just be the Botox of weight-loss”, said Dr Ortiz after his lecture. Though a potent toxin, Botox is used for many medical treatments but because of it’s safety profile it is used widely for esthetic purposes. This new balloon can be just the answer for those needing to lose tens to hundreds of pounds and everything in between.

Obalon Ballon + The Stomagic Program

For more information about the stomagic weight loss program and the oval balloon please visit http://www.obaloncenters.com/

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OCC’s epidemiologist is closely monitoring the COVID-19 status and is actively issuing updates as they are available. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization are the most trusted sources online.  While the CDC has announced new mask protocols for vaccinated individuals, there will be no changes for our office protocols for patients, guests, and staff members as the announcement does not apply to hospitals or medical facilities. Masks are still a requirement for all patients, guests and staff at our facility.

As we reinitiate weight loss surgery, we are constantly adapting and installing new and updated safety measures.

Weight loss surgery is medically necessary.

Bariatric Surgery and the clash of two pandemics.   

Major metabolic and bariatric surgery Societies and colleges globally are now calling for the safe resumption of bariatric and metabolic surgery before the COVID-19 pandemic is declared over. 

The sooner bariatric surgery can be safely performed, the quicker obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases can be reduced or resolved as they are not only chronic they are also progressive.  Obesity is also linked to more than 40 diseases including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and at least 13 different types of cancer.

A recent statement from the ASMBS says “Before COVID-19 began, it was clear that patients with obesity were ‘safer through surgery.’ In the era of COVID-19, ‘safer through surgery’ for patients with obesity may prove to be even more important than before.” Obesity and Metabolic syndrome have been identified as an independent risk factor for adverse outcomes including death among COVID-19 patients.

See here for full COVID-19 update. 

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