Frequently Asked Questions
What is obesity?
Obesity is associated with a high BMI (body/mass index) and can lead to a variety of health risks.
What is BMI?
BMI is a commonly used measurement that helps doctors assess your weight and health. It is calculated by using your height and your weight.
How will the ORBERA Procedure help me lose weight?
The ORBERA The ORBERA™ Procedure can help you lose weight by working in two ways. First, the balloon will take up room in your stomach so there’s less space for food. You can still eat the healthy foods you enjoy but in smaller quantities, and the balloon will act as a built-in portion control. Second, the balloon will make you feel full and less hungry between meals.
What is unique about the ORBERA design?
Only ORBERA gastric balloon technology uses a saline (salt water) filled balloon. The gastric balloon was designed to hold a higher volume of saline, and therefore take up more room in the stomach. Additionally, the balloon was designed to sit in the stomach in a way that mirrors the natural curvature of the stomach, so it may enhance comfort when in place.
How is the balloon inserted in the stomach?
The balloon is gently inserted through the mouth (endoscopically). Your procedure will be performed by a highly trained physician in about 20 to 30 minutes in an outpatient setting. During the procedure, you will be comfortably sedated under light anesthesia. Since there is no surgery, the procedure does not require incisions or permanent changes to your anatomy.
How soon can I return to work or other activities after the balloon is inserted?
Because the ORBERA Procedure is non-surgical, the recovery is much shorter than with traditional weight loss surgery. After the procedure, your medical team will observe your health and typically send you home within a few hours.
You will likely experience nausea, vomiting, and pain, and may experience bloating, diarrhea, and cramping while your body adjusts to the presence of the balloon. These symptoms are normal and should be expected. Your doctor can prescribe medication to minimize any discomfort.
The length of time it takes to adapt to the balloon varies from person to person. Many people return to work after just a few days, but you should speak with your doctor about how soon to return to work and other physical activities.
Will I need to follow a special diet while the balloon is in?
For the first few weeks, eating and nutritional recommendations will be provided to help you enjoy a comfortable recovery. Then, along with your coaches, you’ll determine a healthy approach to ongoing nutrition that supports weight loss without leaving you feeling deprived
Will I be able to feel the balloon once it is inside me?
Some patients report that they can’t feel the balloon at all, while others say they do.
Will I need to limit my activities while the balloon is in?
After you’ve adjusted to the balloon, you’ll be able to return to all the same activities you enjoyed before the procedure. In fact, your coaching team will encourage you to try new activities that are fun and support your healthy lifestyle.
Is ORBERA safe?
Yes, the ORBERA Procedure and gastric balloon design has FDA approval in the U.S. The balloon was designed to promote tolerability and minimize the risk of deflation or migration, and it includes a visual safety indicator as well.
What will happen if the balloon deflates?
The ORBERA gastric balloon has a very low risk of deflation. The saline used to fill the balloon is tinted blue, which acts as a visual indicator in the event of deflation. If you see blue-green urine, you should immediately contact your doctor.
Do I have to participate in the coaching to be successful?
Coaching is a core component of the ORBERA Procedure. The coaching you receive is tailored to your individual needs and goals. Besides teaching you about healthy eating, exercise, goal setting, and behavior modification, the ORBERA coaching keeps you accountable and on track.
Many ORBERA patients credit the coaching with helping them maintain their weight loss after the balloon is removed. Read our testimonials or view patient videos to learn more about the role of coaching in ORBERA success.
Can the balloon stay in longer than six months?
No, with the ORBERA Procedure, the balloon can stay in your stomach for only six months as a safety precaution. It is critical to schedule your six-month appointment for balloon removal.
How will the balloon be removed?
The removal of the balloon is very similar to the insertion. The balloon is first deflated, then gently removed together through the mouth (endoscopically). You will again be comfortably sedated under light anesthesia. Your procedure can be performed in about 20 to 30 minutes in an outpatient setting.
How much does the ORBERA Procedure cost?
Costs will vary by region and physician. Affordable payment options are available. Talk to your doctor about payment and financing options.
Indications: The ORBERA™ Integrated Gastric Balloon System is for weight reduction when used with counseling, diet and exercise, in obese patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 – 40 kg/m2 and one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. It is indicated for use in adult patients only who have failed weight reduction with diet and exercise alone.
Contraindications: The ORBERA™ Integrated Gastric Balloon System is not recommended for patients with conditions that may increase their risk of poor results (e.g., prior gastrointestinal surgery with sequelae, prior open/laparoscopic bariatric surgery, inflammatory GI tract diseases, upper GI bleeding), who are unwilling to participate in an established medically-supervised diet and behavior modification program, who have alcohol/drug addictions, who receive daily prescribed treatment with aspirin, anti-inflammatory agents, anticoagulants and/or other gastric irritants, or who currently are or may become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
Warnings: The maximum placement period for the ORBERA™ Integrated Gastric Balloon is 6 months. The risks after 6 months of intragastric balloon deflation and intestinal obstruction (and therefore complications related to intestinal obstruction) is significantly higher when balloons are left in place longer than 6 months. The presence of blue-green urine, sudden loss of satiety, increased hunger and/or weight gain may be a sign of balloon deflation. Failure of patients to take prescribed daily proton-pump inhibitor medication increases the risk of gastric ulceration or perforation.
Adverse Events: Placement of the ORBERA™ Integrated Gastric Balloon requires an endoscopic procedure with sedation. Potential risks associated with an endoscopic procedure and/or sedation include adverse reaction to sedation (headache, muscle pain, nausea), pneumonia, infection, and respiratory distress. Potential risks associated with the ORBERA™ Integrated Gastric Balloon include ulceration, perforation, abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, belching, nausea, heartburn, sore throat, and dehydration. These complications may be severe enough to require early removal of the ORBERA™ Integrated Gastric Balloon. Although the ORBERA™ Gastric Balloon design provides an anti-migration feature, there is the potential risk of a device migration and/or intestinal obstruction. The risk of intestinal obstruction is increased if the device is not removed after 6 months. Surgical or endoscopic removal may be required.
Important: For full safety information please visit orbera.com/ca/dfu, talk with your doctor or health specialist, or call Apollo Customer Support at 833-698-3677.
*Results and patient experience may vary.
Talk with your doctor, or call Apollo Customer Support at 833-698-3677.
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