It is the latest weapon in the fight against obesity. It's the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System.
Dr. Jaime Ponce from Chattanooga Bariatrics is one of the first in our area to offer this non surgical, outpatient procedure that only takes about 15-20 minutes.
Dr. Jaime Ponce, Chattanooga Bariatrics says "We put a scope in and then we slide a catheter that has the two balloons and inflate the balloons while we are watching with the scope."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the temporary, implanted balloon device for weight loss. The two connected balloons are filled with saline.
Dr. Jamie Ponce says "These balloons stay in the stomach for six months and then they will have to be removed at six months because they can rupture or cause some ulceration in the stomach."
According to the FDA's release, those who participated in the study with the reshape balloon doubled their weight loss compared to those trying to lose weight through just diet and exercise.
Eric Kaulfuss was part of the clinical trial which included 187 participants. He's lost a total of 50 pounds since having the procedure.
Eric Kaulfuss says "It took a couple of decades, you look back and say that doesn't look like me, always been good at losing, better at gaining."
Dr. Ponce says his office couples this procedure with a comprehensive program that includes six months of follow-up and coaching after the balloons are removed.
Dr. Jaime Ponce says "That comprehensive program includes monthly visits with a dietitian that we can coach patients to eat the right food, the right way and also encourage them to do some exercise and change their lifestyle."
This procedure is available to people who are mildly to moderately obese, where those who are morbidly obese, 100 pounds or more overweight would qualify for a surgical weight-loss procedure.
While Eric says he didn't have any major problems after undergoing the procedure, Dr. Ponce says nausea is a common side effect of the device, along with gastric ulcers caused by the balloons rubbing against the stomach wall.
Eric Kaulfuss says "By losing weight, I felt better, exercise more, I have a treadmill desk and I work out everyday."
Dr. Ponce says he is accepting potential patients now and expects to perform his first procedure next month.