Current Surgery Reports

, 5:34 | Cite as

Intragastric Balloons: Indications, Options, Outcomes

  • R. Wesley VosburgEmail author
  • Julie Kim
Bariatric Surgery (A. Ghaferi, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Bariatric Surgery



Intragastric balloons (IGBs) have increased in popularity within the continuum of care for obesity. The FDA has approved 3 different devices with similar mechanisms of action and approved treatment durations. IGBs can offer help with weight loss to individuals with BMI 30–40 kg/m2 who do not qualify for bariatric surgery or who do not wish to undergo a surgical procedure for weight loss.


This is a review of available current literature regarding the efficacy and outcomes of IGBs for treatment of obesity and morbid obesity including randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses published from 2005 to 2017.


Five RCTs reported weight-loss results of IGB treatment in terms of percentage of excess weight loss (%EWL). Devices were placed for 3–12 months duration and %EWL ranged from 25.1 to 50.3% at device removal and 18.8–57% 6 months later. Three RCTs reported percentage of total weight-loss (%TWL) results with IGB durations from 6 to 12 months ranging from 10.2 to 17.1% at the time of device removal. Three meta-analyses reported %EWL of 27.4–36.2% within 6 months of IGB treatment.


IGBs have favorable safety profiles and have shown significant short-term weight-loss improvement over lifestyle modification or pharmacotherapy. Further investigation is required to determine the long-term benefit of these devices for patients with obesity and morbid obesity as well as to monitor the devices’ long-term safety profiles.


Intragastric balloon Weight loss Obesity 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMount Auburn HospitalCambridgeUSA

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