Single vs Repeated Treatment with the Intragastric Balloon: A 5-Year Weight Loss Study



Saline-filled intragastric balloons (IB) may be inserted for 6 months to promote weight loss. We aimed to assess potential benefits of repeating IB therapy.


One hundred eighteen consecutive subjects (median body mass index, 34.0 kg/m2; interquartile range [IQR], 31.2–36.9) treated with IB were included in a prospective non-randomized multicenter study.


Nineteen (16%) subjects had repeat IB therapy at their own request, either to prolong first treatment (n = 8) or after a IB-free interval (n = 11). Higher weight loss 3 months after first IB insertion independently predicted repeat therapy (P = 0.008). Median weight loss in subjects who had repeat therapy was lower with second vs first IB (9.0 vs 14.6 kg; 30.4% vs 49.3% excess weight [EW]; P = 0.003). Compared to subjects with single treatment (n = 99), those with repeat treatment (n = 19) had greater weight loss at first IB extraction (14.6 vs 11.0 kg; 49.3% vs 30.7% EW; P = 0.026) and 1 year later (12.0 vs 6.0 kg; 40.9% vs 20.8% EW; P = 0.008) but the difference became less than 2 kg starting at 3 years. At final follow-up (4.9 years; IQR, 3.4–6.7), the whole subject population had lost a median of 2.0 kg (IQR, −3.0 to 10.3) or 6.2% EW (IQR, −8.1 to 31.6) and identical proportions of subjects with single/repeat treatment had ≥10% baseline weight loss (26%) or bariatric surgery (32%).


Higher weight loss at 3 months independently predicted repeat IB therapy; weight loss with the second IB was lower compared to first IB. Repeat treatment had no effect on proportions of subjects with ≥10% baseline weight loss or bariatric surgery at final follow-up.

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body mass index


intragastric balloon


interquartile range


last observation carried forward


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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Correspondence to Jean-Marc Dumonceau.

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Dumonceau, JM., François, E., Hittelet, A. et al. Single vs Repeated Treatment with the Intragastric Balloon: A 5-Year Weight Loss Study. OBES SURG 20, 692–697 (2010).

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  • Obesity
  • Gastrointestinal endoscopy
  • Gastric balloon
  • Weight loss