Dr. Starpoli's Blog

To Balloon Fix or Not to Balloon Fix for Weight Loss

Posted by Anthony A. Starpoli, MD on Apr 3, 2016 11:52:11 AM



There are people that have done diet and exercise before, have a history of yo-yoing up and down.  Many people have done meal substation therapies at a very expensive level, but these do not work in th elong-term. The typical candidate for an intragastric balloon, whereby a stomach balloon is passed through the mouth into the stomach, is a person who does not want bypass or invasive surgery at all. This group of patients comprise a group is known as the treatment gap: people who fail to effectively diet and exercise, but do not want surgery.  It is these type of patients that are the best fit for the gastric balloon procedure. Dr. Starpoli utilizes the Orbera intrgastric balloon.

In addition, prospective patients cannot be pregnant and cannot have had prior gastric surgery for weight loss. Ultimately, what doctors are trying to do is get people with high body mass index (BMI) on the lower, healthier, end. The ideal obese patient for this procedure has a BMI  between 30 and 40.  For those with an even higher BMI, the balloon can be used as a bridge for a more invasive weight-loss surgery down the road.

Patients must also be committed to a year-long program. The balloon fix is not simply a set and forget procedure. Those who elect must be willing to work closely with a nutritionist to ensure that healthy eating and exercise habits are set in place, so that when the balloon is removed, the correct practices are set in place.

Dr. Starpoli offers a platform capable to do food logging, storing photographs as well as monitor their Fitbit activity through a smart mobile technology.  The American Obesity Center also provides for virtual visits so patients have better compliance with the program.  The program is hinged not only on inserting a balloon, but working with people who are committed to good nutrition the six months during and six months after months after.  Of course, not everyone is willing to do that as it requires a serious change in behavior.


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