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Non-surgical weight loss solutions continually rise in north metro

Newly approved by the FDA, Orbera™ Balloon yields results in fighting epidemic

Based on a commitment to provide patients a range of weight loss solutions, the Center for Weight Management at Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) announced a new offering—an intragastric balloon procedure.

GMC is among the first in Georgia to offer this new non-surgical solution, the Orbera™.  It received FDA approval in August.

According to Robert Richard, MD, the center’s medical director, Orbera is ideal for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 40 who have attempted more conservative weight reduction alternatives like diet and exercise.  

“When used in conjunction with diet and behavior modifications, Orbera can be highly successful for patients,” he said. “It’s a less invasive option that can assist patients in reaching their long-term weight loss goals.”

According to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, U.S. obesity rates have doubled since 1980 and remain the highest rates among all high-income countries worldwide.  If obesity trends in the U.S. continue at this same rate, it is estimated that by 2030, roughly half of all men and women will be obese. (The classification of obesity is applied when a BMI is 30+.)

The two-part program starts with the durable balloon filling space in a patient’s stomach to reinforce proper portion control. The second portion involves patient monitoring and support. At six months, the balloon is deflated and removed through a non-surgical procedure done under a mild sedative.

In comparison to surgical options, where patients participate in a number of medical consultations, support groups, and other life coaching programs, Orbera is a less complex medical procedure due to the non-surgical nature. Thus, it’s conducive for those with busy schedules.

“While there are both physical and mental obstacles in weight loss, having another option for patients provides an incredible sense of satisfaction and opportunity,” says Rebecca Gomez, a licensed clinical psychologist at GMC’s Center for Weight Management. “For some, a surgical option might not be the best solution and, thus, other options can lead to successful results when used with proper guidance and coaching.” 

According to Gomez, obesity is also influenced by a variety of behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that can include unhealthy diet, inactivity, lack of sleep, pregnancy, medications, medical problems, and metabolism issues.

About Gwinnett Health System
Gwinnett Health System (GHS) is the parent company of Gwinnett Medical Center, Gwinnett Medical Group and Sequent Health Physician Partners. GHS employs 5,000 associates and has 800 affiliated physicians serving more than 400,000 patients annually. Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) is a nationally-recognized, not-for-profit healthcare network with acute-care hospitals in Lawrenceville and Duluth. Additional facilities include the Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion, the Gwinnett Extended Care Center, Glancy Rehabilitation Center, outpatient health centers and surgical centers, imaging centers and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy facilities. In 2014, GMC was recognized by Georgia Trend as the top large hospital in the state. 

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