A slimming ‘balloon pill’ that can be taken with a glass of water has been introduced to Spire Little Aston Hospital in Sutton Coldfield
The Elipse ‘balloon pill’ developed by Allurion, works by filling the stomach and making the patient feel full more quickly and so enables them to cut back on the amount they eat.
But, unlike other slimming aids available – such as the gastric band, sleeve or bypass – there is no need for surgery, a general anaesthetic or an overnight stay in hospital.
Instead, a small capsule that contains the balloon is attached to a thin tube and swallowed. Once it reaches the stomach an X-ray is taken to check it is in the correct position before the balloon is released and filled with up to 550ml of saline.
Designed to deflate after four months before passing naturally through the body, the Elipse is aimed at people with a BMI of 27 or above in order to help them ‘kick-start’ their dieting regime.
The procedure will be overseen by Consultant General Surgeon Mr Amir Khan who explained: “It isn’t a ‘miracle pill’ it still needs the patient to eat less and choose their foods more wisely but it is a great aid to those who are serious about weight loss.
“The balloon will reduce the hunger pangs but the patient still has to show willpower and determination in order to get the very best results from the process. It may be that the patient is advised to stick to a liquid diet for a couple of days after taking the pill but they will then be able to move onto solid foods.
“However, what is really important is that they use the feeling of fullness provided by the balloon to help them change their eating habits. Smaller portions and healthier options really are the key to success.”
Mr Khan and a hospital dietician will first consult with the patient to explain the procedure and aftercare options. If the balloon pill is decided to be the preferred option the actual time spent in the hospital could be under 30-minutes.
“It is normal for people to feel nauseous for the first few days but we give patients the medication to help them with that,” said Mr Khan.
Mr Khan is available for consultations on Tuesday and Friday evenings, call 0121 580 7119 for more information or to make an appointment.