New swallowable balloon promises weight loss


Dr. George Merriman announced that he is now offering the Obalon Balloon System, a swallowable, FDA approved, nonsurgical treatment option for weight loss.

The lightweight balloons occupy space in the stomach so patients eat less. Adult men and women may be a candidate for the Obalon Balloon System if they are 30 to 100 pounds overweight. Three (3) lightweight, buoyant balloons are placed gradually over 2 months to maximize patient tolerability and facilitate continual weight loss throughout the 6 month treatment period.

The Obalon Balloon System is intended to be used as an adjunct to a moderate intensity diet and behavior modification program. All balloons must be removed six months after the first balloon is placed.

“When we learned about the Obalon Balloon System, we immediately wanted to offer it in our practice. Patients struggling with obesity have been asking for years for a less invasive option that can be coupled with lifestyle modification,” stated George Merriman, MD, FACS, FASMBS. “The weight loss achieved with the Obalon Balloon System is meaningful, providing patients with an opportunity to maintain a healthier lifestyle.” During the clinical trial, Obalon Balloon System patients lost twice as much weight as by diet and exercise alone.

Six months after the balloons were removed, an average of 89% of the weight lost was kept off, when combined with diet and exercise. The majority of adverse events were reported as mild and consisted of abdominal pain and nausea (serious side effects were less than 0.3%).

“Our office prides itself on offering treatment options that are safe and effective, and that provide patients alternatives to surgery. Obalon is an example of one of those treatment options, a technology designed to help patients reach their weight loss goals. We are proud to be the first in the area offering this revolutionary treatment,” commented Dr. Merriman.

The Obalon Balloon system is not covered with insurance, but many physicians offer financing options to help patients achieve their weight loss goals. To determine if Obalon is right for you or to make an appointment, please visit or call patient care coordinator, Whitney Thomas, at (318)-222-4282.

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