According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a total of five weight loss balloon patients have died since 2016 while they were receiving this treatment in order to combat their obesity. Four of those deaths involved individuals who used the Orbera Intragastric Balloon System, while the other victim used the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System. Keep reading to learn more about this tragic occurrence and to find out about safer alternatives to weight loss balloons.
What the FDA Knows, and What It Doesn’t Know
As of right now, the FDA is aware of the fact that the five weight loss balloon patients all died within just a month, or even less than a month, of the time when they had the balloons inserted. In fact, three of them died anywhere from just one to three days following the balloon placement.
However, the FDA does not yet know what the root causes of these patients’ deaths were. They also have been unable to attribute these deaths to the balloon devices or to the insertion procedures in any definitive way.
Currently, the FDA is reviewing two other deaths that could also be related to complications that were associated with the balloon treatment. One death involved a stomach perforation, while the other involved the perforation within the esophagus.
The FDA is also working with ReShape Medical Inc. and Apollo Endo-Surgery to try to better understand these deaths.
How Weight Loss Balloons Work
These procedures involve the placement of one or two balloons into the stomach. They are put in place while they are still deflated with the help of an endoscope that moves through the mouth. When the balloons are in the stomach, they are filled with saline until they are about the size of a grapefruit. The patient lives with the balloons in their stomach for about six months to help them lose weight by feeling fuller sooner.
Safer Weight Loss Options
If you are obese, you might be thinking about becoming one of the many weight loss balloon patients out there, but if you are at all concerned about the safety of these procedures, you do have other options. In addition to controlling portions and caloric intake, switching to a healthy diet, and exercising regularly, you can take a high quality weight loss supplement every day to help your body burn through more calories and fat. The right product will even help to suppress your appetite while giving you more energy to power through your workouts.
The death of these patients has definitely caused everyone to stop and think about the safety of weight loss balloons, and whether or not the procedure is worth the risk. If you are trying to lose weight, talk to your doctor about the many other weight loss options out there, as you can certainly take a safer and less invasive route towards better health.