Experimental gastric balloon may serve as 'safe, effective' option for weight loss — 5 takeaways

Researchers from Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center presented their results on an experimental gastric balloon and its potential to help patients lose weight at Obesity Week 2015, according to Medscape.

Here are five takeaways:

1. The experimental gastric balloon is swallowed in a physician's office, stays in the patient's stomach for four months and is then excreted. The balloon, Ellipse, differs from other gastric balloons in that it does not require endoscopy or sedation to insert or remove it.

2.  Ram Chuttani, MD, director of interventional gastroenterology and endoscopy at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said the Ellipse is, "a feasible, safe, effective [weight-loss device] that improves both metabolic and quality-of-life parameters and eliminates the requirement for endoscopy and anesthesia."

3. In the study, 34 patients in Greece and the Czech Republic lost an average of 22.04 pounds after four months. The patients had a mean body mass index of 34.4 kg/m2.

4. Ellipse is less costly than other balloon alternatives because of the way it is deployed and removed.

5. The study is preliminary, and it is unclear if the FDA will approve the device. Researchers say it will take years before it becomes available in the United States.

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