An intragastric balloon is an inflatable medical weight loss device that is temporarily placed into the stomach of patients who are overweight or obese. The weight loss mechanism of intragastric balloon therapy is restrictive. This helps you lose weight by limiting how much you can eat and making you feel fuller faster. Another possible mechanism of action that may also contribute to weight loss is by delaying gastric emptying. The intragastric balloon procedure may be an option if diet and exercise have been unsuccessful and surgery is not an option.
Like other weight-loss procedures, an intragastric balloon requires commitment to a healthier lifestyle. You need to make permanent healthy changes to your diet and get regular exercise to help ensure the long-term success of the procedure. There are a number of different intra-gastric balloons available worldwide. Most intragastric balloons are placed via endoscopy and will require sedation.
A new ‘swallowable balloon’ – The Elipse Intragastric Balloon developed by Allurion represents an innovative option for weight loss that does not require surgery, endoscopy or anesthesia. The Elipse was launched in Malaysia in May 2020 and the 1st patient who underwent the procedure in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific Region was at Gleneagles Penang Hospital by Dr Kirubakaran Malapan and his team.
The Elipse balloon is compressed into a vegan capsule connected to a thin catheter and swallowed in the clinic as an outpatient procedure. Once it reaches the stomach the balloon is released and filled with up to 550ml of liquid. After the position of the balloon is confirmed via an abdominal X-ray, the thin catheter is removed and the patient can go home. At approximately 4 months, a valve in the Elipse balloon spontaneously opens causing the balloon to empty and it passes through the gastrointestinal tract. The MDT team will help the patients consolidate their new lifestyle habits and focus on keeping the weight off.
This option is suitable for individuals who are screened by a MDT weight loss team, patients aged between 18 and 65 years with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 24kg/m2, previous failed dietary treatments and able to comply with the Elipse program. A prospective, multicenter study across 19 international centers in 1770 patients demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the Elipse intragastric balloon system with a mean Total Body Weight Loss of 14.2% and BMI change of 4.9 points in just 4 months of balloon exposure. Patients treated with the Elipse program sustained 72% of their weight loss 12 months after balloon excretion.
The ease of use, elimination of surgery, endoscopy or anaesthesia for placement and removal, low rate of serious adverse events, and compliance of the Elipse system enables a much wider application of gastric balloon technology across the overweight and obese population in Malaysia resulting in better and sustainable weight loss.