In order to be able to qualify for traditional bariatric surgical weight loss procedures, a patient usually needs to have received a morbid obesity diagnosis from a doctor. That said, not everyone who needs to lose weight in order to live more healthful lives has achieved quite that level of being overweight.
Now, the FDA has moved ahead with a new form of surgical weight loss alternative that could be helpful for people who are obese but who are not necessarily morbidly obese.
In order to be morbidly obese, a doctor will usually look for certain indicators in a patient, which include:
– Being over 100 pounds heavier than what his or her ideal weight should be
– Having a BMI of 40 or greater
– Having a BMI of 35 or higher in conjunction with the presence of comorbid conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure that are directly linked to the extreme overweight levels.
– Being incapable of arriving at a healthy body weight and sustaining it over time, even when that individual has undergone medically supervised dieting.
This new type of alternative to traditional surgical weight loss comes in the form of a gastric balloon in which a type of medical saline filled balloon is placed into the patient’s stomach by a qualified doctor or technician. That device is used to shrink the available space within the stomach and allow the patient to feel a sensation of being more full despite the fact that he or she has not eaten as much as he or she typically would.
The gastric balloon may be anywhere from the size of a baseball to the size of a softball (depending on the person and the amount of saline that is needed to fill the balloon for the right results). The patient must be regularly supervised through steady medical appointments and may need to have the balloon adjusted after it has been inserted.
The idea behind the gastric balloon is to take up more room in the stomach to make it easier for the dieter to be able to reduce the amount that is eaten and, therefore, the number of calories that are consumed each day. Throughout this time, the dieter is meant to learn how to live a more healthful lifestyle so that even after the device has been removed, he or she will still be able to continue the weight loss until arriving at a healthier weight. Moreover, the hope is that the patient should also be able to maintain that weight once it has been achieved.