Reshape dual balloon: New weight loss procedure on market

Thursday, June 30, 2016
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There's a new kind of weight loss procedure on the market.

Mayda Melendez, a family physician, has lost 26 pounds in four months.

She tells Action News she's never been thin, but over the past ten years, kept gaining weight and had to go on medication to lower her blood pressure.

"I'm a physician, I'm telling my patients to be healthy and I'm not doing any of the things that I'm telling them to do," Melendez said.

So she started dieting and exercising.

She was losing weight, but to speed things up she decided to have a recently FDA-approved procedure - the Reshape dual balloon system.

Dr. Isaias Irgau explained to Action News the balloons mimic the feeling of fullness so patients eat less and are less hungry.

He says while most weight loss surgeries involve cutting the skin, this one is different.

"Now, we can go through the mouth, through the food pipe, into the stomach and place the balloon without cutting anything," Irgau said.

"I was like this will be great. I'm not really changing anything on my body. But it is like extra help," Melendez said.

The balloons stay in the stomach for six months and then are removed. But the program lasts one full year.

Melendez meets with a nutritionist regularly and her daily weight is sent electronically to the office.

Dr. Irgau tracks that, along with her activity. He says the goal is to teach patients to control their eating.

"We know from research that the longer a person will have kept certain habits, the more chances there are those habits will become permanent. And a year is a good amount of time for us to achieve that," Irgau said.

So far, it's helped Melendez get off her blood pressure medication and she's dropped three dress sizes.

"I feel healthy so that's the most important thing," Melendez said.

This option is best for people looking to lose 30 to 70 pounds.

Dr. Irgau says so far studies show people who had the procedure in clinical trials kept the weight off for three to four years. Those studies will continue.

One other balloon system is available now.

More are expected to be approved soon.