Conclusions after using the Allurion gastric balloon for one year

Five hundred patients have undergone the Allurion gastric balloon slimming procedure in the first year since it arrived in Romania. What conclusions does Doctor Dejeu’s team have after this period of using the Allurion medical device?

Positive conclusions:

  • It’s certainly the least invasive in the intragastric balloon market. The other balloons are harder to tolerate, with more side effects. Hence the desire of the Doctor Dejeu team to wait longer to get access to an innovative balloon, rather than to use any other on the market;
  • Easiest to place, no anaesthesia and no endoscopy, clear benefits for the patient, which would translate into minimal medical manoeuvres.
  • Works great, with expectations set correctly. We’re talking about 10-15% of a patient’s weight. The smaller the excess pounds, the fewer pounds can be dropped.
  • For those overweight or obese class 1 (i.e. with 10-20 kg to lose), it is a recommendation to use this balloon, without rushing to choose the operation. It is important to consider all the options and to choose, together with the specialists, the correct and appropriate procedure for each individual patient.

Negative conclusions:

  • Satisfaction may be lower than with bariatric surgery. What does this mean? That patients come in with the goal of dropping a few pounds and it’s not as spectacular as after an operation. What’s important? For the patient to get more involved to make things work. If you inevitably lose weight in the first few months after the procedure, after the balloon placement you must be consistent and careful with your lifestyle, and follow the recommendations from Doctor Dejeu’s team of nutrition specialists. As a non-invasive procedure, it cannot be compared to surgery, where the expectations are different.
  • The cost may be perceived as quite high, but Allurion is the only manufacturer of this balloon (the medical device is manufactured in the USA). Because patients pay quite a lot, their feeling is that the effect must be worth the cost. This is where the previous observation comes in – the process of losing weight with Allurion involves healthy habits, a new, balanced lifestyle, which the patient assumes once they decide to enter this program.
  • Disappointment can come early. Although patients know they have to lose a little weight, they expect it to happen very quickly. But realistically, when you have 6-7 kg to lose, the pace will be very slow. Again, setting expectations correctly is key! The initial discussion with the doctor will clarify all these issues.
  • In the first 2-3 days there may be side effects until the stomach gets used to the balloon. Again, there may be dissatisfaction. But what the medical team will do is to be there for the patients with advice and recommendations so that this process is as smooth as possible.
  • When a patient has surgery, it is expected that they will need a period of recovery. But with the balloon, it’s not like that – the impression is that they shouldn’t feel anything. Which can’t possibly happen. Medication plays an important role here – Doctor Dejeu’s team has improved the treatment regimen, adding a new drug that controls nausea excellently. And the results can be seen in the feedback received from patients.
  • It’s easier to regrow, because once the balloon is removed, you no longer benefit from its effect. You take off 10 kg and put three back on after a few months. What the patient doesn’t consider is the frustration they would experience if they were to re-grow after irreversible surgery.

A conclusion summarising all the above? Patients who can afford the cost of balloon placement and who are eligible (overweight or obese grade 1 – maximum 10-20 kg excess) are worth trying this non-invasive option. To remember – come with realistic expectations and be patient, willing to change. An operation is not the best solution if there is no significant excess weight. At the consultation with Doctor Dejeu’s team, all the solutions will be presented and the recommended option for each patient will be explained.


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