Stomach balloon won't help obese patients

Feb. 19, 2007 at 8:45 PM
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A balloon placed inside the stomach to create fullness without food does not produce more weight loss than a diet in people who are obese, say Brazilian doctors.

It does, however, raise the incidence of stomach ulcers and inflammation.

Marcos Fernandes and his colleagues at the University of Medicine of Petropolis in Rio de Janeiro reviewed nine studies that involved 395 overweight and obese patients. Most of the studies ran for one year, but the longest ran for two.

Over 12 to 24 weeks, patients with gastric balloons lost no more weight than people who simply went on a diet; balloon patients gained weight after the balloon was removed, while the diet group tended to continue losing weight.

In addition, balloon patients were five times more likely than diet patients to develop stomach ulcers and 10 times more likely to experience stomach erosion or inflammation.

A report on the research is in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library.

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