One hundred obese or overweight individuals in the UAE have taken advantage of the new Ellipse Gastric Balloon to lose weight and to decrease its associated medical conditions, according to Dr Wael Dahhan at Emirates Hospital. Image Credit: Emirates Hospital

Dubai: A new procedure is helping obese patients fight weight problems, with over a hundred overweight individuals taking advantage of the technique in the UAE.

According to experts, the new Ellipse Gastric Balloon not only helps lose weight but also decreases its associated medical conditions

“Obesity and being overweight is a major public health problem surrounding people in the Middle East. It can cause a wide range of illnesses, with diabetes being the most common. Patients who suffer from weight issues have a good option to insert the Ellipse Capsule Balloon for accelerated and desired results, which helps as a jump-start to lose weight and create a feeling of satiety in these individuals,” said Dr Wael Dahhan, consultant, American board gastroenterologist at Emirates Hospital.

Studies show that people with BMIs (body mass index) higher than 30 have a greater risk of premature death compared to their healthy-weight peers. And losing just 5 per cent to 10 per cent of total body weight — through diet, exercise, or weight loss-inducing procedures — has been found to significantly improve health.

Obesity can lead to high blood sugar, high cholesterol, heart diseases, and strokes which are closely related to obesity. Factors such as genetics, lack of exercise and poor diet are all leading causes of weight gain which can also lead to serious consequences.

“Managing BMI can have a positive effect. A healthy BMI is below 25, and those with a BMI above 30 are obese, which can lead to several complications. While healthy diet and exercise are the best solutions to tackle weight, in some cases certain procedures are recommended to maintain the right BMI,” said Dr Dahhan.

The Ellipse Balloon is an outpatient procedure which helps reaching the right BMI. It is ingested inside a capsule that is attached to a tube. Once the doctor has checked if the balloon is in its place, it is filled up with almost a pint of water and the thin connected tube is then removed. The entire procedure takes less than 20 minutes, eventually helping patients to lose up to 10-15 per cent of total body weight.

According to Dr Dahhan, the procedure does not require endoscopy, surgery or anaesthesia, and it has a self-deflation valve which will open automatically after four months without the need for endoscopic retrieval. It is suitable for a large number of patients not responding to diet and lifestyle treatment.