Wrexham hospital offers new gastric balloon that can be swallowed

A private hospital in Wrexham is one of the first in the UK to offer a new weight loss balloon that can be swallowed in a capsule.

Unlike other gastric balloon treatments, Obalon does not require invasive surgery, according to experts at Spire Yale Hospital.

Instead, in a 10-minute procedure, patients swallow a capsule the size of a large vitamin pill which contains a deflated balloon.

The capsule is attached to a hollow tube and, once the capsule arrives in the stomach, the balloon is inflated.

The balloon sits in the stomach, giving patients the sensation of fullness which encourages them to eat less and therefore lose weight.

If needed, patients receive a second balloon 30 days after the first. After 12 weeks all balloons are removed via endoscopy which takes just a few minutes in daycase theatre.

The treatment will help them make diet and lifestyle choices which they will then be able to maintain once the balloons have been removed.

Lead nurse Kath Rothwell explained: “Obalon is a brand new, innovative weight loss treatment and we’re delighted that Spire Yale Hospital is among the first in the UK to offer this discreet and non-invasive treatment.

“Early results suggest that people can lose up to eight kilograms in 12 weeks and, with the support of our experts here at Spire Yale Hospital, work to achieve long term, sustainable weight loss.

“Initial published results suggest that Obalon may offer a solution for those who have previously been unsuccessful in losing weight.

“These early results indicate this customisable, non-invasive, 12-week treatment can provide weight loss of up to eight kilograms and it is available for those with a BMI of 27 or over.

“Patients are monitored carefully throughout their treatment period. After the first capsule is swallowed it is left in the stomach for 30 days, after which a second balloon is swallowed if needed. After a total of 12 weeks all balloons are removed via an endoscopy which takes just a few minutes using light sedation if needed.

“To help achieve sustained weight-loss, patients will benefit from support and care from expert clinicians addressing healthy eating, exercise and psychological support.”

The balloon was introduced by Spire Healthcare after successful trials in Europe.

Hospital Manager Sue Jones added: “I am very excited about the potential Obalon can offer patients who are struggling to lose weight and want to improve their health independently.

“It is quick and easy to place and looks to be well tolerated. It can give patients an initial weight-loss boost but with the right support it can also help to change their eating behaviour – which is needed for long-term, weight loss.”

Obalon is available at a fixed price of £2,995 for a two balloon treatment or £1995 for one balloon treatment. For more details go to www.spireyale.com

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