Swallowable Gastric Balloon (Allurion): Cost, Benefits, Risks
Studies suggest that obesity is now a global epidemic. A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food habits are major reasons behind it. A gastric balloon can be your saviour if you are unable to lose weight even after several weight-loss efforts.
Obesity, if not treated in time, can lead to multiple health complications such as unhealthy cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and infertility! Therefore, obesity treatment should become a priority.
Read this blog to learn more about India’s first swallowable weight loss balloon, its benefits, cost, and more.
What is Intragastric Ballooning?
An intragastric balloon is a new technology that offers a minimally invasive treatment for obesity. The balloon is placed in the stomach by a doctor often using an endoscopic procedure.
The weight loss procedure using a gastric balloon is a short-term reversible treatment. It combines a healthy long-term diet and regular physical exercise to show effective weight loss.
This non-surgical weight loss works with the balloon taking up space in your stomach. This helps you feel full and reduce your hunger and appetite. It also reduces the habit of frequent snacking.
Types of Intragastric Ballooning
Based on the procedure involved in placing the balloon, intragastric balloons in India can be classified as:
Orbera Intragastric Balloon: The Orbera is an FDA-approved intragastric balloon that comes in a compressed form with a filling tube attached at the other end. It is placed with the help of an endoscopic supervision.
Heliosphere Balloon: A spherical balloon made of polyurethane but inside silicone envelope. Heliosphere balloon is filled with air and is placed in the stomach with the help of an endoscope.
Spatz3 Balloon: A technology that allows the balloon’s size to be adjusted as per requirement throughout the placed balloon treatment.
It is inserted with mounting the deflated balloon at the tip of the endoscope, which forms a spherical saline-filled gastric balloon in the stomach.
ReShape Duo Integrated Dual Balloon System: In this weight loss ballooning system, two separate filled, spherical balloons are joined with a non-communication shaft. It is another endoscopic procedure.
Obalon: The Obalon balloon system is in the form of ingestible gelatin capsules that contain the folded balloon inside. A fluoroscope is used to track the capsule to the stomach.
It consists of three balloons, each placed in a gap of 1 month.
Elipse Balloon or Allurion: Earlier referred to as elipse, Allurion is India’s first swallowable weight loss balloon in the form of a capsule. It follows a non-endoscopic procedure for weight loss and is safe and non-invasive.
The Allurion balloon gets removed on its own through excretion. It does not need any surgical or endoscopic removal procedure.
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About Allurion Gastric Balloon
Allurion is India’s first procedure-less procedure for weight loss. The Allurion programme is a comprehensive weight loss plan of about 6 months. It includes the capsule, a digital weighing scale, a health tracking device and a mobile app.
An Allurion capsule is swallowed with the help of water under the guidance of an Allurion-certified doctor. It is a non-invasive, non-endoscopic obesity treatment. It is the only weight loss procedure performed without surgery, endoscopy or anaesthesia.
The Allurion method of weight loss may aid in losing up to an average of 10 to 15% of body weight for the obese. It is similar to other weight loss gastric balloons, but the procedure of placement and removal of the Allurion differs.
In this system, the balloon comes rolled in the form of a capsule and is filled into a balloon. A catheter comes connected to the capsule from one end, which helps fill the liquid into the balloon when placed in the stomach.
Parts of Allurion Balloon
The balloon is rolled into a capsule, and it consists of the following parts:
- Balloon Film: The balloon material is a very thin film, even thinner than regular silicone balloons. It is flexible and durable enough to pass through the gastrointestinal tract after spending months in the stomach.
- Filling Valve: It is made of a very thin film and shuts itself once the catheter is pulled out after filling the balloon.
- Release Valve: This valve is made of a degradable thin film used to cover a hole. The filament degrades over time, further breaks and opens the hole, allowing the balloon to empty itself at a pre-decided time.
Allurion Intragastric Ballooning Benefits
Allurion is a procedure-less intragastric ballooning treatment for weight loss which comes with multiple benefits over traditional weight loss surgeries in India.
Allurion is a side treatment for obesity and lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet. These include:
Safe and Convenient: Allurion ballooning offers one of the safest procedures for weight loss, and it does not generally require the need to visit a hospital.
Temporary Treatment: Allurion ballooning is a temporary treatment. Unlike bariatric surgeries for weight loss, Allurion offers a non-surgical and reversible procedure, meaning the balloon can be placed and removed anytime.
Rare Discomfort: Allurion is made of very soft silicone material, so it may or may not cause any discomfort in the stomach.
Quick Procedure: Placing an Allurion gastric balloon is performed very quickly as it requires no extra medical apparatus. It takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes.
No Incision or Anaesthesia: The non-surgical nature of the placement and removal procedure removes the need for anaesthesia or any surgical incisions.
It can be a great option for obese patients who fear surgery.
No Risk of Complications: There is a very low risk of any procedure-related complications, such as bleeding, infections, etc., because Allurion ballooning is a procedure-less treatment.
No Hospitalisation: The Allurion balloon placement does not cause you to get hospitalised. It is an outpatient procedure. The patient may be observed to check for any immediate reactions, if any, for half an hour to an hour.
Highly Effective: The Allurion method may offer up to an average of 10 to 15% of body weight loss.
Allurion is an effective weight reduction tool without any need for surgery. However, visiting a doctor to see if you fit the requirements for getting an Allurion balloon placed in the stomach is crucial.
Allurion Intragastric Ballooning Procedure
Allurion balloon and other intragastric ballooning procedures differ in terms of the methods of placement and removal. Allurion does not require an apparatus such as an endoscope for its placement or removal.
Allurion ballooning is an outpatient procedure and takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. The capsule balloon is placed with the following step-by-step procedure:
Consultation with Doctor: A doctor tries to understand your condition and will check if you are eligible for Allurion capsule balloon.
Capsule Swallowing: The Allurion swallowable gastric pill balloon is to be swallowed with the help of water. This takes place under the guidance of an Allurion-certified doctor without endoscopy or anaesthesia.
Capsule Reaches Stomach: Once the capsule is in the stomach, the doctor will check if the capsule is placed in the right place.
Capsule is Inflated: Now that the capsule is in the right place, the doctor fills the balloon with 550 ml of liquid using the catheter attached to the other end of the capsule.
X-ray is Done: Next, the doctor will perform an X-ray scan to ensure the balloon is placed correctly in the stomach.
Balloon is Fully Inflated: Almost the size of a grapefruit, the balloon takes up space in the stomach. This reduces your food intake and causes a feeling of fullness.
After approximately 16 weeks, the balloon will deflate and exit the body. Allurion also offers sequential ballooning. This means after completing a session of 6 months, another session may be started and so on.
After Allurion Intragastric Ballooning
After balloon placement in the stomach, nothing special is to be done. However, a few follow-ups with the doctor and dieticians may be necessary. Read about it and the risks and complications that may occur in rare cases.
First Follow-up Appointment
The Allurion balloon deflates and gets excreted on its own after a period of 16 weeks. For almost 6 months from the day of balloon placement, regular doctor consultations take place to monitor the treatment.
The 6-month-long Allurion programme consists of consultations from doctors and dieticians, Allurion health tracker, scales and mobile apps. A consistent lifestyle is necessary for a healthy weight loss journey.
Risks and Complications of the Allurion Method
The Allurion method for weight loss is considered a safe treatment. However, there is a low but possible risk of complications after placing the Allurion balloon in the stomach.
In rare cases, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, etc., may become persistent. There is even a slight but very rare possibility of balloon deflation.
Note: An immediate consultation with a doctor is necessary if your symptoms are persistent.
Cost of the Allurion Ballooning Program
The Allurion intragastric ballooning cost for the program, including the capsule, digital tracker, and mobile app, may cost ₹2,80,000 to ₹3,40,000. However, this cost may increase with varying factors such as:
Consultation fee of doctor or hospital
Additional costs for diagnostic tests
Patient's existing medical condition
Type, city and locality of the hospital
Read more about the cost of swallowable intragastric ballooning.
Weight loss is a concern for many, but how to lose it is often more concerning. Obesity has become a leading cause of multiple chronic conditions. That’s how important it becomes to treat obesity.
Intragastric ballooning with Allurion is an effective, non-invasive procedure for managing obesity. The swallowable gastric pill balloon offers a positive hope for people to shed excess weight without anaesthesia or endoscopy.
Learn more about intragastric ballooning and your next steps. Consult a medical professional at HexaHealth TODAY! Our team of doctors will support you throughout your weight loss journey.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Allurion?
What is the Allurion method of weight loss?
Is the Allurion gastric balloon painful?
Is Allurion balloon pill safe?
How much does Allurion cost in India?
What are the side effects of Allurion?
How long does Allurion stay in the stomach?
Will I put on weight after completion of the Allurion program?
Do I need to see a doctor to remove the Allurion balloon?
How much weight can I lose with Allurion?
Is there a difference between Allurion and other gastric balloons?
What to do after the balloon has passed on its own?
What is the process for Allurion balloon removal?
The Allurion balloon has a time-activated valve that degrades after about 16 weeks, enabling the balloon to empty itself. The balloon can easily pass through the gastrointestinal tract without requiring any surgery or endoscopy.
Meanwhile, in rare cases, if the balloon does not get passed away on its own, surgical intervention may be required. Consult a doctor for the same.
Can I perform daily activities after Allurion balloon placement?
Will others be able to identify that I have an Allurion balloon inside my stomach?
Am I eligible for Allurion gastric balloon placement?
- Body Mass Index above 27
- Above the age of 18
- Class III obesity
- To undergo bariatric surgery for weight loss.
It is crucial to consult with a doctor to check if you are the right candidate for Allurion intragastric ballooning.
What is the volume of the Allurion balloon?
All the articles on HexaHealth are supported by verified medically-recognized sources such as; peer-reviewed academic research papers, research institutions, and medical journals. Our medical reviewers also check references of the articles to prioritize accuracy and relevance. Refer to our detailed editorial policy for more information.
- Stavrou G, Shrewsbury A, Kotzampassi K. Six intragastric balloons: Which to choose? [Internet]. U.S. National Library of Medicine; 2021.
- Machytka E;Chuttani R;Bojkova M;Kupka T;Buzga M;Stecco K;Levy S;Gaur S; ElipseTM, a procedureless gastric balloon for weight loss: A proof-of-concept pilot study [Internet]. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
- Ienca R, Al Jarallah M, Caballero A, Giardiello C, Rosa M, Kolmer S, et al. The procedureless elipse gastric balloon program: Multicenter experience in 1770 consecutive patients [Internet]. U.S. National Library of Medicine; 2020.
- 4 reasons to choose the Allurion balloon over other gastric balloons [Internet].
Updated on : 23 November 2023
MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES
12 Years Experience
Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More
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