Just Swallow a Water Balloon to Lose Weight

A temporary swallowable gastric balloon is a new method of weight loss for those incapable of undergoing bariatric surgery.

The Elipse Balloon from Allurion / Image: Allurion
The Elipse Balloon from Allurion / Image: Allurion

There’s no shortage of weight loss products on the market, but a recent article from The Guardian featured a new medical device that's truly unique: a gastric balloon that restricts the capacity of the stomach. The Elipse Balloon from Allurion is swallowed like a pill with a thin catheter attached to it. Once inside the stomach, the balloon is filled with 550ml of liquid that remains in the stomach for four months- at which point it spontaneously opens, empties, and is excreted.

A study in Portugal showed that 38 patients lost on average 33.5 lbs in the 16 weeks, roughly 31% of their excess weight. Although not an alternative for bariatric surgery in which the stomach is made smaller, this procedure could be a shortcut to get patients to the point where surgery is an option.

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