MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Insert a balloon into your stomach, start to lose weight. Those are the basics of a new procedure you can only get from a University of Miami doctor.
On Monday, that doctor spoke with CBS4.
“The FDA finally approved a balloon that we can place in the stomach to help jump start a patient’s weight loss,” said Dr. Nestor de la Cruz-Munoz, chief bariatric surgeon at University of Miami Health System.
The procedure, called ORBERA, is a middle ground for patients who want to lose weight without surgery but need more help than just a nutrition and exercise plan.
De la Cruz-Munoz is the only physician in Florida approved to do the procedure.
He said it’s a good option for people who need to lose 20 to 40 pounds.
“It’s a very low risk procedure, easily placed, people won’t miss time at work and they will be able to get back to their lives right away,” said de la Cruz-Munoz.
With the non-surgical technique, the doctor will place the balloon in the stomach during an endoscopy.
“The space of the balloon fills part of the stomach and makes the patient feel as if they are partially full,” he said.
He said the balloon also helps slow the emptying of food from the stomach which could make you feel full longer.
The balloon stays in for up to six months, and is part of a two-step plan.
“And then they work with us, with our nutritionists and with our therapists, to make sure they are doing the right things to make these weight loss outcomes go long term,” said de la Cruz-Munoz. “So I think this is a huge step forward for the people of Florida.”