, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 864-870
Date: 01 Jun 2005

What Becomes of Patients One Year after the Intragastric Balloon has been Removed?

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Background:The BioEnterics Intragastric Balloon (BIB) is a saline-filled balloon recommended to remain in the gastric cavity for a maximum of 6 months. Is this short period sufficient to change patients' lifestyle and eating practices to maintain weight reduction after BIB removal? Methods: 100 patients who received a BIB were included in this prospective study and followed for 1 year after BIB removal. The post-implantation follow-up visits took place monthly, during which the patient was seen by the surgeon, dietitian, and if necessary, psychologist. Results: At BIB removal, mean weight loss for the group was 12.0 kg. Mean percent excess weight loss (%EWL) was 39.8%. 12 months after removal of the BIB, mean weight loss was 8.6 kg and mean %EWL was 26.8% for the group as a whole. Conclusions: The results 1 year after removal of the BIB were encouraging. Because the BIB is a temporary non-surgical and non-pharmaceutical treatment for obesity that is reversible and repeatable, we recommend it to patients who have previously failed traditional methods of weight reduction. Careful patient follow-up is of primary importance in avoiding complications and supporting efficacy of the treatment. Although 1 year follow-up cannot be considered long term, these results are encouraging. Concurrent behavior modification is needed for durable weight loss.