What is the Obalon Balloon System?

Advances in weight loss treatments have made it possible to provide solutions to suit a wider range of patients. Some individuals need to lose fewer pounds to reach a healthy weight, and others would like to jump-start their weight loss prior to having bariatric surgery. At our practice, top weight loss surgeon Hossein Bagshahi, MD offers the Obalon Balloon System for individuals interested in losing weight without having a surgical operation.

What Is the Obalon® Weight Loss Balloon System?

Obalon is the FIRST and ONLY swallowable, FDA-approved balloon system for weight loss. The Obalon Balloon System helps facilitate weight loss by taking up space in your stomach, so you eat less. Three balloons are placed for a six-month non-surgical treatment, combined with a professionally supervised nutrition and exercise program for optimal weight loss. Patients in the clinical study lost twice as much weight as with diet and exercise alone. During treatment you should receive professional nutrition and exercise support to help you make the lifestyle changes that promote weight loss. Obalon supports you to help change your eating habits and keep the weight off for the long term.

What Are the Benefits of the Obalon® Balloon System?

In addition to being a nonsurgical option, Obalon offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Approved by the FDA
  • Comes in a swallowable capsule
  • Requires no anesthesia during placement
  • Treatment is fully reversible
  • Helps jump-start long-term weight loss

Who Can Get the Obalon® Balloon System?

You are a candidate for the Obalon Balloon System if you have a body mass index (BMI) from 30 to 40 kg/m2 (30 to 100 pounds overweight) and are 22 years of age or older. The program begins with the placement of the Obalon balloons in your stomach for up to six months. The program should be accompanied with a healthy diet and exercise program during the time you have the balloons and is recommended for six months, after which point the balloons are removed.

What Happens During the Obalon® Procedure?

The placement of each Obalon balloon typically takes less than 10 minutes and the procedure doesn’t require sedation. In your physician’s office, you swallow a capsule containing a small balloon, and then your physician inflates the balloon.

After six months, all three balloons are removed in one procedure utilizing general anesthesia and a breathing tube for improved safety. The removal procedure is typically no longer than 15 minutes.

What Results Can I Expect from the Obalon® Balloon System?

Patients usually resume normal activities immediately after the balloon placement procedure. You cannot take any stomach irritating medicines, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or aspirin, while the balloons are in your stomach. Some examples of NSAIDs are Motrin® or Advil®. You cannot have the balloons placed if you plan to live in a place at an altitude more than 4,000 feet higher or 2,500 feet lower than where your doctor places your balloons. See the Safety Information section and Patient Labeling information for contraindicated activities with the Obalon Balloon System.

Does the Obalon® Balloon System Have Side Effects?

While patients typically have a good experience using Obalon, some side effects may occur. If you note a loss of fullness, sudden increase in hunger, or increase in weight, you should discuss these symptoms with Dr. Bagshahi, as it may indicate balloon deflation. Some patients may have some abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or a sensation of balloon movement initially. These effects often fade within a few days, although balloon sensation may be more pronounced if a single balloon is placed. Gas, belching, and bloating are also sometimes reported.

How Much Does the Obalon® Balloon System Cost?

The total price of the Obalon Balloon System will depend on your treatment plan and unique needs. The average cost for Obalon runs between $6,000 and $9,000. This number includes three balloons, placement, removal, and accompanying diet and exercise support. During your initial consultation, Dr. Bagshahi and our medical team will review the full cost of your treatment, which may be covered by your medical insurance. We also work with weight loss financing agencies should you choose to pay out of pocket.


Ready to learn more about the Obalon Balloon System? Contact Dr. Bagshahi to schedule a consultation and find out if this method can help you become healthier without surgery.

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