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Allurion’s Blog

January 24, 2018

Bridging the Gap between Perception and Reality: The Role of a Non-Surgical Weight Loss Device

Only 1-2% of patients who qualify for bariatric (i.e. weight loss) surgery end up getting it. A recent study in Obesity by Fatima Stanford, Ted Kyle,Caroline Apovian and colleagues explores why. In a survey of patients with Class I (BMI 30-34.9), Class II (BMI 35.0-39.9), and Class III (BMI ≥ 40) obesity, the authors found the following: 84% of Class I patients, 63% of Class II patients, and 42% of Class III patients did not perceive themselves as obese 85% of Class I patients and 74% of Class II patients found surgery unacceptable Most patients found surgery unacceptable, because they felt it…

January 24, 2018

Patient Preference for Weight Loss Devices

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published an article in Surgical Endoscopy that reports results of a survey conducted on patient preference for weight loss devices. The survey quantifies the risk-benefit analysis many patients conduct before deciding on a weight loss therapy. This research is part of a laudable, ongoing effort at FDA to incorporate patient preference in regulatory decision-making. Moreover, the research provides very useful quantitative data to support FDA’s risk-benefit paradigm for evaluating new weight loss devices. In fact, this approach was instrumental in the recent approval of the Enteromedics VBLOC device. While the device failed…

January 24, 2018

Are gastric balloons effective?

The answer is yes: gastric balloons are effective. Multiple randomized, controlled trials have compared gastric balloon therapy to diet and lifestyle modification and have concluded that gastric balloons are more effective. Here are a few examples: Fuller et al. 2013 showed that 6 months of gastric balloon therapy led to an average of 14kg (31lbs) of weight loss compared to 4.8kg (10.5lbs) from lifestyle modification alone. The weight loss difference remained statistically significant after 12 months. Genco et al. 2006 showed that 3 months of gastric balloon therapy led to an average reduction of 5 more BMI points than lifestyle modification…

January 24, 2018

Slow and Steady Doesn’t Win the Race: It’s a Tie

A recently published paper in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology challenges the widely held notion that gradual weight loss is associated with better long-term outcomes than rapid weight loss. Purcell and colleagues randomized 200 people to either a rapid (12 weeks) or gradual (36 weeks) weight loss program (Phase 1) and then followed those who lost at least 12.5% of their weight for over 3 years to assess long-term outcomes (Phase 2). They concluded the following: After nearly 3 years of follow-up, people in both groups maintained ~30% of the weight they had lost (see figure) 81% of people in the rapid…

January 24, 2018

Repeat Gastric Balloon Therapy

Gastric balloons are sometimes criticized for being short-term therapies that lead to rapid but temporary weight loss. A previous post explores a recent study that demonstrates similar long-term outcomes and weight maintenance whether weight is lost rapidly or gradually. However, in some instances, an individual may desire repeat gastric balloon therapy to either continue losing weight or assist in weight maintenance. Is this possible? Repeat gastric balloon therapy has been studied and demonstrated to be safe and effective. In two separate studies, Dr. Alfredo Genco and Dr. Gontrand Lopez-Nava report that individuals who receive two balloons with a 1 month balloon-free period lost significantly…

January 24, 2018

Gastric Balloon Review

Allurion co-founders Drs. Shantanu Gaur and Samuel Levy and Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Ram Chuttani recently co-authored an article entitled Balancing Risk and Reward: A Critical Review of the Intragastric Balloon for Weight Loss now in press at Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. The goal of this review was to answer 3 questions: How much weight is lost in gastric balloon therapy and is weight loss time-dependent? After gastric balloon therapy ends, how much weight loss is maintained? If adverse events occur, when do they occur in the course of gastric balloon therapy? The review concludes that 80% of the weight lost during gastric balloon therapy…

January 24, 2018

Gastric Balloons: Balancing Risk and Reward

A review on gastric balloons co-authored by the Allurion team will be published in the June issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. In this video, senior author Dr. Ram Chuttani discusses the paper’s key findings and their implications for gastric balloons.

January 24, 2018

Endoscopic Gastric Balloon Removal: It Ain’t Easy

Many congratulations to ReShape Medical for conducting the first obesity medical device trial in the United States that successfully met its endpoints. The results of the study were published recently in Surgery of Obesity and Related Diseases. One of the many differences between ElipseTM and endoscopic gastric balloons like the ReShape Duo ® is that ElipseTM is procedureless: no endoscopy or anesthesia is required. Here is why that is important. One patient in the ReShape study experienced a torn esophagus that led to bleeding while his ReShape balloon was being removed endoscopically. Another patient also experienced a torn esophagus and required intravenous antibiotics as a…

January 24, 2018

Losing Weight: Diet vs. Exercise

In a recent article in the New York Times, Aaron E. Carroll of the Indiana University School of Medicine argues that eating less is far more important to losing weight than exercising. For example, eliminating two 16-ounce sodas from your diet each day reduces your overall caloric intake by the same amount that 30 minutes of strenuous running would burn. Yet, he argues, our society tends to lend more importance to exercise than portion control for proper weight management. The scientific studies Dr. Carroll cites seem to suggest just the opposite: exercise provides only a small amount of additional weight loss when…

January 24, 2018

Do consumers want weight loss surgery?

Market researchers from Treato recently mined online conversations from around the web to understand consumer sentiment on weight loss surgery. Interestingly, they concluded that 85% of respondents who consider themselves at least 30lbs overweight would not choose weight loss surgery for themselves. These results mirror those from previous studies on consumer preference that concluded that most patients eligible for weight loss surgery would not prefer it. These results highlight an important theme for the overweight and obese market: most consumers do not want weight loss surgery. Several non-surgical options are under development (including gastric balloons) to provide consumers with safe and…