Carlsbad company invents weight loss balloon


CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) – Monique Ramsey has struggled with weight most of her life.

“I’m 5’1, and so weight loss has always been something that’s a struggle, and it’s definitely a heredity component.”

Ramsey stated weight loss program and train have been by no means sufficient.

“I think I’ve tried just about everything, and you know, it’s hard to sort of feel like you’re starving yourself through crazy diets and things like that,” stated Ramsey.

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In July of 2017, she determined to strive one thing new.

“This is a tool that is such a game-changer,” stated Ramsey.

That device is the Obalon Balloon System. Mark Brister invented the system on the Obalon Therapeutics manufacturing middle in Carlsbad.

“There weren’t a lot of technologies out there to help people who were just overweight. Most people had to wait until they were morbidly obese in order to be eligible for treatment so we decided to invent a product that would fit the middle ground,” stated Brister, who’s the Chief Technology Officer at Obalon Therapeutics.

Obalon is the one FDA accepted swallowable gas-filled balloon for folks roughly 30 to 100 kilos obese.

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“It’s about the size of a cheeseburger, and the doctor will place three of these by having you swallow them in a simple in-office procedure over the six to eight weeks,” stated Brister.

The balloon is inside a big capsule that’s hooked up to a skinny catheter. The physician makes use of a computerized navigation system to trace the balloon because it travels into the abdomen. Once it is within the abdomen, the balloon is full of fuel. The affected person will get three balloons over six to eight weeks.

“This is sort of like being able to have stomach stapling without having surgery,” stated Ramsey.

Side results after the primary balloon is inserted can embody nausea and cramping. Ramsey stated she did not have any issues.

“You’re actually taking up the room in the stomach, so you’re having a smaller stomach, but there are no permanent after-effects long term,” stated Ramsey.

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After six months, the balloons are eliminated throughout an endoscopic process. Ramsey misplaced 25 kilos and has managed to maintain it off. She desires to lose 25 extra.

“For me, that’s a huge jump start, and I’ve never been able to get that far in that short amount of time.”

The balloons are saved in for six months, however success requires a life lengthy dedication.

“What the balloons do, they’re sort of a tool, I think is a tool to sort of say, help retrain your brain and help recondition yourself to eat less, eat better, make better choices,” stated Ramsey.

The program additionally features a yr of vitamin and train help.

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“I can still be just as happy. I don’t need M&M’s, I don’t need Fritos, or whatever “factor” it is, it really helps reset your mind and motivation to stay healthy,” stated Ramsey.

“All of a sudden, you start to see people as they start to lose weight, they start to gain confidence, so I have many times, we’ve seen people lose 50 or 75 pounds and gain 500 pounds of confidence,” stated Brister.

In October, Obalon Therapeutics opened its first full-service weight loss middle in 4S Ranch. Rita Starritt is the physician.

“When you are very overweight, you’ve already tried a low carb diet, and you’ve tried a keto diet and you need something else to happen you and a lot of it is education, lifestyle changes, nutrition, the system, the balloon system helps people lose twice as much weight as those who did diet and exercise alone,” stated Dr. Starritt.

In 2017, the FDA issued a warning about potential dangers of liquid-filled intragastric balloons. The balloons have been linked to the deaths of twelve folks all over the world since 2016. The FDA has not issued any warnings associated to the Obalon system.

“What Obalon does is it floats up, and it moves around, it’s very buoyant, so in terms of the ability for the device to float around and not cause damage to the stomach, that’s really what differentiates us,” stated Amy Vandenberg, Chief Clinical and Regulatory Affairs Officer of Obalon Therapeutics.

The therapy prices roughly $6,000 and features a yr of vitamin and train help.

“It’s all about moderation, and the balloons are a nice reminder of that so that you don’t have to feel that something is forbidden,” stated Ramsey.



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