[Role of intragastric air filled ballon (Heliosphere Bag) in severe obesity. Personal experience]

Ann Ital Chir. Mar-Apr 2009;80(2):113-7.
[Article in Italian]


Introduction: Obesity leads to serious health consequences, therefore many strategies are recommended for preventing or curing this emerging problem. Treatments are various: diet, physical activity, psychotherapy, drugs and bariatric surgery. In order to try to improve the tolerance of intragastric balloons, a new device inflated with air to improve weight loss was developed in 2004 (Heliosphere BAG). We report our personal experience about this tool.

Material and methods: Between January 2005 and December 2007, in our unit, 50 intragastric air filled insertion were performed under analgosedation and endoscopic control. The balloon was removed (24 hours) in two patients (4%) for acute intolerance. In other 2 patients (4%) the balloon was easily removed after 5 months because of premature desuflation, radiologically confirmed. The remnant 46 balloons were removed after six months. We evaluated efficacy, tolerance and the safety of this procedure.

Results: Forty one women and 9 men, with a mean age of 38.1 years (range 18-62), mean basal BMI of 39.8 (range 28-64) were included, after providing informed consent. Weight and BMI loss were evaluated on all patients. BMI decreased 5.9%, weight loss was 16.8 kg. Tolerance was very good, limited only to some dispeptic symptoms during the first 2 days after insertion. No serious technical problems were noted at balloon insertion. Balloon removal was very simple after correct desuflation after the conclusion of learning curve (10 procedures).

Discussion: The aim to treat obesity before bariatric surgery is based on reduction of bariatric surgical risks, general surgical risks and the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders and some cancers.

Conclusions: The intragastric air filled balloon showed an acceptable profile of efficacy, good tolerance and improvement of comorbidities after 6 months.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Gastric Balloon*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome