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Procedure can double your weight loss results, doctor declares

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Posted at 7:50 PM, Aug 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-10 21:22:38-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond doctor said a procedure now available in the United States can deliver the results of gastric bypass surgery without going under the knife. Dr. Matthew Brengman, Bariatric Surgeon at Advanced Surgical Partners of Virginia, is the first Richmond doctor performing the ORBERA™ Intragastric Balloon procedure.

During the procedure, the ORBERA balloon is placed into a patient's stomach by going through the mouth and down the throat. Once inside the stomach, the device is filled with saline until it’s about the size of a grapefruit. The ORBERA balloon stays in the stomach for about six months and makes the patient feel full, the balloon's maker said in a press release.

The procedure typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes and the patient can generally go home the same day. At six months, through another non-surgical procedure done under a mild sedative, the ORBERA™ balloon is deflated and then removed.

Once the balloon is in place, the patient receives an individually tailored support program through the ORBERATM Managed Weight Loss System team of experts – which may include a dietician, psychologist and exercise physiologist – to help keep them motivated, coordinate their program and help them work through weight loss barriers to meet their long-term weight loss goals. Coaching takes place over 12 months, even though the balloon is removed after six months. The program is designed to help the patient develop sustainable, healthy habits that will help keep weight off over time.

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration, doctors said the procedure can help people lose three times as much weight as they would with diet and exercise alone.

"If your average diet in a very effective plan would be 18 to 20 pounds, and we know that the balloon is at least double that," Dr. Brengman said. "And so it gives us a bridge therapy for that middle group of people who don't think maybe they're heavy enough to warrant traditional weight loss surgery or they don't qualify, their weight is too low, but their weight is too high for a diet to be really effective."

ORBERA has already been approved for use in dozens of other countries.