Obalon Gastric Balloon: Kuwait Experience

Yousef Almuhanna1, Fahad Alasfar, Prof2, Fatemah Alotaibi2. 1KIMS, 2Kuwait University

Background: The era of bariatric surgery has been dynamically evolving from the 1950s till day. Considering the possible complications that patients may face postoperatively, less invasive options were brought into the horizon. One of these options is the obalon gastric balloon, in which patients swallow the obalon gastric balloon capsule and then it is filled with 250 cc of volume. It is designed to trigger satiety by partially filling the stomach and therefore, over 12 weeks period, induce weight loss. 

Objectives: To assess the benefit of obalon gastric balloon for those who seek noninvasive solutions for weight loss.

Methods: A prospective study of 72 patients who presented to our clinic seeking endoscopic management for obesity. Most of the patients were already aware of the obalon gastric balloon. Data was collected in a period of 10 months; November 2014 till September 2015. Consent was taken from our patients that they will be involved in the study.

Results: Patients were studied over a period of 10 months. The median age of patients was 33 (13-59) and 75% were females. Patients’ BMI was categorized into overweight (25-29.9 kg/m2), class I obesity (30-34.9 kg/m2), class II obesity (35-39.9 kg/m2), and class III obesity (≥ 40 kg/m2). The obalon gastric balloon has been administered and patients were followed up for an average period of 12 months. patients’ weight was taken after that period and the percentage of excess weight loss median was 19.4% (-6.4% – 47.2%). Percentage of excess weight loss peaked among class I obesity patients (p = 0.003).

Conclusion: The obalon gastric balloon can be an option for those who seek weight reduction solutions. Weight loss was observed among all classes of obesity, but peaked among those in class I obesity. Although the study was limited by the small sample size (72 patients), and the fact that some of them failed to show for follow-up, we strongly believe that the obalon gastric balloon has a very big potential in a country where 64.2 % of its adults are overweight. The study will continue until a much bigger sample size can be obtained.

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