The Orbera intragastric balloon is an FDA approved tool to aid in weight loss for adults who are interested in a program of diet and exercise.  The balloon has been placed in over 200,000 patients worldwide.  Multiple studies have shown the Orbera balloon to be effective in helping patients who have not been successful with structured diet programs or who regain weight after short term success with dieting. The balloon works to decrease hunger between meals and enhance satiety.

About the procedure:

The Orbera intragastric balloon is inflated during a brief endoscopic procedure without any incisions. The inflated balloon decreases hunger and increases the sense of fullness soon after eating a small amount of food.

The Orbera balloon is part of a multidisciplinary approach to weight loss with behavioral modification and a healthy lifestyle.

How it works:

The balloon is soft, smooth, and about the size of a grapefruit. It moves freely in the stomach simulating a large meal. The balloon decreases hunger and allows a person to remain on a healthy regimen of diet and exercise in order to lose weight.


The Orbera balloon is indicated for patients with a BMI of 30 to 40 who are interested in a multidisciplinary approach to lose weight by changing the way they eat, regular exercise, and adopting a long-term healthy lifestyle.  Those who have severe damage to the liver, who are pregnant or breast feeding, or need to take anticoagulants, gastric irritants or anti-inflammatory drugs daily should not have the Orbera Balloon.

Who is a good candidate for the balloon?

Anyone who has tried to lose weight, is committed to diet and exercise, has not been successful dieting or has regained weight after success and fulfills the Indications above is a good candidate for the Orbera balloon.   Rare patients may have a medical reason not to place the balloon so a personal consultation is necessary before balloon placement.

Complications reported with the balloon:

If a person does not follow a healthy diet and exercise program they will not lose weight. The role of the balloon is only to help a person feel full after eating a small amount of food.  Almost all patients have nausea for the first few days after placing the balloon until the stomach adjusts to the balloon.  We will prescribe anti-nausea medications to all patients. Vomiting and abdominal discomfort may occur early during the balloon experience.    Rare complications of stomach perforation and balloon deflation with bowel obstruction have been reported.  Very rare complications with placement and removal related to the endoscopy and sedation have been reported.


The balloon results in no malabsorption. All nutrients and vitamins are absorbed normally.

Vitamin requirements:

One daily multivitamin should be taken while losing weight due to the decreased intake of nutrients while dieting. Taking vitamin D by mouth may be needed if your vitamin D is low before the balloon is placed.

Dietary restrictions:

A liquid diet is recommended for 3 weeks to help jump start weight loss.  Patients may advance their diet to a low carbohydrate diet sooner if they desire.  Our program diet is a low carbohydrate, balanced, healthy diet. This diet is maintained to achieve the goal weight. Once the goal weight is reached, a maintenance diet of expanded calories is begun for long-term health and happiness. A proton pump inhibitor (antacid) medication is recommended while the balloon is in place.

Number of incisions:


Hospital stay:

Outpatient.  The balloon is placed during a brief endoscopic procedure and the patient goes home from the recovery room.


Recovery time is minimal. Patients go home the same day as their procedure.  In most patients, there is an adjustment period to the balloon. Most patients experience nausea for the first three days. We recommend staying home from work or school for 3 days.  Light activity is unrestricted and exercise is increased as the stomach adjusts to the balloon.


The balloon is reversible.  The balloon is not adjustable. The balloon must be taken out after six months.

Balloon Cost:

$7500 This covers the cost of the balloon and the costs of placing it endoscopically, 12 months of a physician-directed comprehensive weight loss program, as well as balloon removal at 6 months.