A popular diet pill turns into a balloon in your body after it is swallowed. But is it safe?
The pill is meant to mimic the stomach reducing effect of weight loss surgery. Many people have actually lost weight in trial runs of the pill.
“The pill, called the Obalon balloon, is a capsule containing an a balloon. As CBS News reports, after a patient swallows the pill, surgeons inflate the balloon inside to make them feel full and eat less. The device is not permanent though, and needs to be removed after about three months,” according to CBS.
The pill is expected to help consumers limit their intake; once they learn to do this it will become a lifestyle change. Thus when the balloon is eventually removed they will still continue the dietary limitation technique. One bariatric surgeon told CBS, “This balloon will act to educate them about portion size and retrain their brain and their mindset a little.”
CBS explains how the pill works, “The pill capsule is attached to a tube that can be inflated. Once the capsule hits the stomach, the balloon gets released. A doctor can use an X-ray to find where the balloon is and inflate it with gas through the tube. After, the doctor pulls the tube out through the patient’s mouth, leaving the balloon floating in the stomach. Up to three balloons are introduced to the stomach over the 12-week period, with placement depending on patient’s fullness and weight loss progress, according to the product website. This fills the stomach, in turn making the patient feel more full. The device’s makers claim overweight and obese patients can lose up to 20 pounds in three months.” No safety issues have been detected yet.