A new pill that mimics the stomach-restricting nature of weight-loss surgery is helping some patients shed pounds in early trials, British researchers claim.
The pill, called the Obalon balloon, is a capsule containing an a balloon. As CBS News’ Alphonso Van Marsh reports, after a patient swallows the pill, surgeons inflate the balloon inside to make them feel full and eat less.
The device is not permanent though, and needs to be removed after about three months.
“This balloon will act to educate them about portion size and retrain their brain and their mindset a little,” Dr. Sally Norton, a bariatric surgeon at Spire Hospital, Bristol, told CBS News. Her hospital offers the procedure.
The pill capsule is attached to a tube that can be inflated. Once the capsule hits the stomach, the balloon gets released. A doctor can use an X-ray to find where the balloon is and inflate it with gas through the tube. After, the doctor pulls the tube out through the patient’s mouth, leaving the balloon floating in the stomach.