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Obalon Gastric Balloon

The Obalon Balloon System is the FIRST and ONLY swallowable, FDA-approved gastric balloon procedure for weight loss. The non-surgical fat removal treatment typically consists of three weight loss balloons, placed gradually over three months, occupying space in a patient’s stomach. Coupled with a nutrition and exercise program, patients eat less which facilitates weight loss. The Obalon Balloon System is a 6-month treatment.

In a large clinical study, the Obalon Balloon System was shown to help adults experience clinically meaningful fat removal without surgery. When used with a diet and exercise program people lost between 15 and 50 pounds. An average of 90% of the total weight lost was maintained at 1 year.

Typically, three lightweight, buoyant balloons are placed gradually over 3 months to maximize patient tolerability and facilitate progressive weight loss throughout the 6-month treatment period. At the end of the 6-month treatment period, all three balloons are removed by a 15 minute, outpatient endoscopic procedure which is performed under light, conscious sedation.

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Gastric Balloon Pittsburgh

What is the Obalon Balloon System?

The Obalon Balloon System is the FIRST and ONLY swallowable, FDA-approved stomach balloon for weight loss system. The non-surgical fat removal treatment typically consists of 3 lightweight balloons, placed gradually over 3 months, occupying space in a patient’s stomach. The Obalon Balloon System facilitates weight loss in adults with obesity (BMI of 30 – 40 kg/m2) who have failed to lose weight through diet and exercise. The Pittsburgh gastric balloon procedure is intended to be used as an adjunct to a moderate intensity diet and behavior modification program. All balloons must be removed 6 months after the first Obalon balloon for weight loss is placed.

Gastric Balloon Pittsburgh

Who can get the Obalon Balloon System?

Men and women are a candidate for the Obalon Balloon System if they have a body mass index (BMI) from 30 to 40 kg/m2 and are 22 years or older. Patients must be willing to follow a 12-month program. The program begins with the placement of the Obalon Balloons in the stomach for up to six months. The program includes a healthy diet and exercise program during the time patients have the balloons and for six months after the balloons are removed.

What weight loss results should patients expect?

In a large clinical study, the Obalon Balloon System was shown to help adults experience clinically meaningful weight loss. When used with a diet and exercise program people lost on average 15 pounds and up to 50 pounds. An average of 89.5% of the total weight lost was maintained at 1 year.

FAQ

How long is the treatment?

The Obalon Balloon treatment is a 6-month treatment. After the first balloon the doctor will usually have patients swallow a second balloon capsule 1 month after the first balloon and a third balloon capsule 2 months after the second balloon. All balloons will be taken out 6 months after the first balloon capsule is swallowed.

How is the Obalon Balloon System placed?

Placement of the Obalon Balloon System typically takes less than 10 minutes and does not require sedation. In a physician’s office, patients swallow a capsule containing a small balloon and then the physician inflates the balloon. In the clinical study, after placement, most patients returned to normal activities with no downtime.

How are the balloons removed?

At the end of the 6-month treatment period, all three weight loss balloons are removed by a brief, approximately 15-minute, outpatient endoscopic procedure which is performed under light, conscious sedation.

How many balloons are used during the treatment period?

Typically, three (3) lightweight, buoyant balloons are placed gradually over 3 months to maximize patient tolerability and facilitate progressive weight loss throughout the 6-month treatment period. Optimal weight loss is achieved with 3 balloons. Those treated with 3 balloons lost more than 4x as much weight as those treated with 2 balloons. All balloons must be removed 6 months after the first balloon is placed.

How large is the Obalon Balloon?

A fully inflated single Obalon balloon for weight loss has a volume of 250cc, weighing less than 6 grams and about the size of a small orange. Therefore, all 3 balloons have a combined volume of 750cc.

What should patients expect when using the Obalon Balloon System?

Physicians will work closely with patients to help develop healthy eating and exercise habits, such as making the right food choices and appropriate portion sizes. Because space is taken up by the stomach balloons for weight loss, patients will not be able to eat the same quantity of food previously consumed.

What are the potential side effects of the Obalon Balloon System?

The Obalon Balloon System is a safe and effective, FDA-approved, non-surgical fat removal without surgery system. In our clinical trial, the majority of adverse events were reported as mild and consisted of abdominal pain and nausea (serious side effects were less than 0.3%). Physicians will discuss more details on the potential side effects, precuations, warnings and other important safety information. Patients can find a complete list of adverse events reported in the clinical trial as well as other important safety information regarding this non-surgical liposuction procedure on our website, www.obalon.com in the safety information section.

Will the Obalon Balloon System limit my activity?

Patients usually resume normal activities immediately after the balloon placement procedure. See safety information section and patient labeling for contraindicated activities with the Obalon Balloon System at www.obalon.com.

What happens after patients get the Obalon Balloon System?

It is important that patients listen to the instructions provided by their physician and office staff who are available to assist in weight loss efforts. They will develop a follow-up schedule to further support patients’ weight loss routine. As patient’s become aware that they are eating less, it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle by making healthy food choices and making exercise a priority.

Who cannot get the Obalon Balloon System?

Men and women are NOT a candidate for gastric balloon weight loss if:

  • You have any problems with swallowing, any or prior surgeries that would make it difficult to swallow the Obalon balloon capsule.
  • You take prescription aspirin, anti-inflammatory agents (such as Advil or Motrin), anticoagulants (blood thinner) or other gastric irritants daily. Taking these drugs on a daily basis increases the possibility of gastric irritations and ulcers when you have the balloons in your stomach.
  • You have had prior surgeries or condition that may have led to a narrowing or blockage of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. If 1 or more of the balloons deflates and passes into your intestines, it will cause a blockage also known as an obstruction and must be surgically removed. This bowel obstruction can lead to serious injury and even death.
  • You have ever had weight loss surgery such as a gastric sleeve or lap-band. This does not include the other stomach balloons. Failure to follow this warning may result in damage to your stomach or intestines that may require surgery to repair.
  • You have an untreated Helicobacter pylori infection. Having this infection increases the possibility of gastric irritations and ulcers.
  • You are unable or unwilling to take prescribed proton pump inhibitor medication for the duration of the device implant. Not taking these medications increases the possibility of gastric irritations and ulcers.
  • You have allergies to products/foods of porcine origin. You might experience an allergic reaction to the capsule.
  • You have untreated or unstable alcohol or illicit drug addiction.
  • You have been diagnosed including but not limited to bulimia, binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating disorder, or your daily diet includes very high calorie liquids. The balloons may not help you lose weight if you have these eating disorders or these habits.
  • You have a history of structural or functional disorders of the stomach including, gastroparesis (stomach emptying disorder), gastric ulcer, chronic gastritis (stomach irritation), gastric varices (veins in your stomach that bleed), large hiatal hernia (> 2 cm), cancer or any other disorder of the stomach. If you have one of these disorders you may not be able to swallow the Obalon Balloon capsule, or the balloon may not inflate properly or you will have increased risk of gastric irritations and ulcers.
  • You require the use of anti-platelet drugs or other agents affecting the normal clotting of blood. Use of these drugs may cause you to bleed more during the removal process of the balloons.
  • You have a history of irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, or other diseases of your bowel system. If 1 or more of the balloons deflates and passes into your intestines, it will cause a blockage also known as an obstruction and must be surgically removed. This bowel obstruction can lead to serious injury and even death.
  • You are taking medications on specified hourly intervals that may be affected by changes in gastric emptying, such as anti-seizure or antiarrhythmic medications. Placement of the balloons in your stomach may further affect gastric emptying and motility.
  • You are pregnant or nursing.

Please review the list of contraindications, warnings, precautions and important safety information regarding gastric balloon procedure at www.obalon.com/safety-information.

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Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update Virtual Consultation

To our Premier & Acqua Blu community,

March 21st Update:

We remain at your service during this time.

To our post operative surgical patients you can still reach Dr Brian Heil by contacting us at 412.953.3373 or 724.747.7062. You may also email us at [email protected] or [email protected] We are standing by to assist you and will return calls and emails within the same day.

You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Please stay in touch via Facebook, Instagram and our website. We look forward to seeing you soon.

March 19th Update:

It has always been our mission to take the very best and safest care of our patients and staff, and in these uncertain times, this responsibility extends also to our Western PA community at large. Therefore, we are monitoring the situation on a daily basis with safety as our top priority. Currently, all patients and employees are being screened before entry to our facilities; this involves both measuring each person’s temperature and a COVID-19 screening survey based on PA DOH and UPMC standards. All patients with a temp over 99.5°F will be asked to reschedule. We have gone down to a skeleton staff to minimize the office population and ensure that less than 10 people will be in any facility region at the same time. We will be minimizing the use of waiting rooms by directly rooming patients after check-in when possible and, at times, by asking some patients to safely wait in their cars until their exam or treatment room is ready.

Hand sanitizers are available throughout our offices as well as sinks with soap and water. We continue to disinfect all frequently-touched surfaces between patients, including counters, furniture, pens, iPads, door handles, restroom fixtures, exam tables and chairs, wiping them down with hospital-grade sanitizers after each patient encounter. Our professional evening cleaning service is taking extra precautions in cleaning using their EnviroShield Endure System and adhering strictly to guidelines issued by the CDC & OSHA. Our facility is always maintained to the highest standards of cleanliness and sterility; however, we have ramped up our daily practice of decontamination and hygiene protocols to an even higher standard. Please limit chaperones to one additional person, and refrain from bringing in children and the elderly.

If you recently have had surgery and need to be seen for a follow-up visit, be assured that we will see you personally to ensure a full and safe recovery. At these appointments, you will be seen by only essential staff that have remained healthy, without signs of any illness or history of viral exposure. As a standard precaution, personal protection equipment will be worn as appropriate when examining you in accordance with any standing CDC recommendations. For now, at Premier Plastic Surgery we will be doing a limited number of consultations and treatments at our Wexford and Upper St Clair offices. Also during these challenging times we’d like to offer the option of a virtual consultation, please request these virtual consults by emailing us directly at . Our phones will still be answered during normal business hours and all emails will continue to be answered.

At this time, all surgeries planned in our private surgery center will be able to be completed as scheduled. Premier Surgery Center of Pittsburgh is a specialized outpatient facility that treats one patient at a time. Its medical resources are not of benefit or value to treating COVID-19 patients, thereby falling outside the call for cancellation of elective surgeries.

If you already have an appointment scheduled with Acqua Blu Medical Spa, one of our staff members will be reaching out to you directly to reschedule consults or treatments at a more safe future time. Regular appointments will resume on or after March 31, unless otherwise updated.

In the face of this ominous public health challenge, we all must work in concert with our community to help each other, protect each other, and extend extra understanding and patience to our fellow man. We urge everyone to protect themselves and their families. If you are experiencing any symptoms, please reschedule and seek out your general practitioner. If you need to reach us for a surgical emergency outside of office hours, please contact the answering service by calling (724) 935-7213 for emergencies.

This is an evolving situation and we will adjust our policies and practices in accordance with the best current knowledge and CDC recommendations. Please stay informed of the all Federal COVID-19 Task Force recommendations and any mandates of the PA Dept of Health. We will continue to pray for everyone and care for our patients through this time of need.

March 18th Update:

For the safety of our patients and staff, Premier Plastic Surgery is temporarily limiting visitors and restricting patient care for those potentially infected with COVID-19 virus. All patients and visitors will be actively screened prior to entry. For patients recovering from surgery, we ask that you limit accompanying visitors to 1 per patient. Visitors will be asked to remain in their vehicle for the duration of the visit. Visitors will be permitted in the exam or waiting room only in special situations, when a visitor is essential for the well-being and care of the patient. No visitors who are ill, sick, frail, elderly or at-risk (i.e. immune compromised or serious chronic illness) will be permitted access. No children less than 18 years of age will be permitted. Please do not bring children to your visit. Any approved visitors will be screened at the facility entrance by a staff member and must comply with a temperature screening.

March 16th Update:

From the time we opened our practice in 2001, our patients and employees have always been central to our purpose and our top priority.

Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by the coronavirus. In the face of this unprecedented pandemic, we want to assure you we are committed to the health and safety of our patients and employees.

As part of our occupational health and safety regulations, washing our hands between each patient, wearing gloves, sanitizing our instruments and tools, disinfecting our treatment rooms, operating rooms, and checkin and checkout desks are part of our regular daily practice and occurs frequently throughout the day - regardless of season or sickness. Additionally, our practice undergoes weekly deep cleaning. We do this to ensure that our patients can trust Premier Plastic Surgery & Acqua Blu not only for their treatment but also for the practice environment. 

We're closely following the guidelines of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The World Health Organization (WHO) and The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and doing everything we can to keep our communities safe. We have provided hospital-grade antibacterial hand gel sanitizers in our office and are requiring each staff member and patient to use it upon their arrival. We have added more frequent disinfecting of high touch areas to our already rigorous sanitation standards. This will include the front door, the point of sale computer and surface areas, patient seating areas, treatment rooms, and bathrooms.

We are requesting that both patients and our staff take steps to reduce the transmission of communicable diseases by following these important guidelines:

  1. Stay home when you are sick and for at least 24 hours after you are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C), or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication. 
  2. Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  3. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  4. Cover your mouth with tissue when you sneeze and discard the tissue into the trash.
  5. Avoid people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
  6. Clean and disinfect household objects and surfaces in your home.

We are committed to exceeding your expectations at this time. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, in this time and always. And, while it's tough to imagine, we're all hopeful that brighter days will be here again soon. We're all in this together!

Stay safe and healthy. 

Dr Brian Heil & Staff 

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