FDA reports five deaths related to weight-loss balloons

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According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), five people have died since 2016 after using intragastric balloons, which are liquid-filled balloons used for obesity treatments.

The intragastric balloon is placed inside the human’s stomach to create a sensation of fullness, forcing the individual to stop eating and making them feel less anxious. The less space, the less food the stomach can contain and digest.

The intragastric balloon is placed inside the human's stomach to create a sensation of fullness. Image credit: Hedden Plastic Surgery Youtube Channel
The intragastric balloon is placed inside the human’s stomach to create a sensation of fullness. Image credit: Hedden Plastic Surgery Youtube Channel

The FDA said on Thursday that doctors should stay alerted when placing this expensive balloon system and to monitor the patient really close. They also confirmed this was the cause of the five deaths.

The liquid-filled intragastric balloons were made by different corporations 

Five not-related people died of the same cause: an obesity system for individuals who have tried diets and exercises without any results, but the same enterprise did not make all of those balloons. Four of them, named Orbera Intragastric Balloon Systems, were manufactured by Apollo Endo Surgery, while the other one, named ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System, was fabricated by ReShape Medical Inc. Both of these companies focus on less invasive therapies for obesity treatment.

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Not one of the five people lasted more than a month after introducing the balloon system into their bodies. Three of them died within the first three days, the administration said. The FDA recommended in February to monitor individuals who have implanted the gastric system to avoid any complication, like acute pancreatitis and spontaneous over-inflation.

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