Pandemic weight gain might sound like the ominous title of a movie, but it’s a real problem. With your routine kicked to the curb, gyms closed, and food calling your name from the refrigerator, you may have gained the dreaded “quarantine 15” or even far more. But it is possible to lose this weight – and additional stubborn pounds – with the Orbera weight loss program at Surgical Associates of South Florida, LLC, in South Miami, FL.
What Is Orbera Weight Loss?
This non-surgical approach offers a weight loss solution for patients who want to shed significant weight quickly and safely. The system uses a gastric balloon that is guided by our highly-trained staff down your throat and into your stomach. The material is soft and thin, quite unlike a party balloon, and can be easily guided while you’re sedated.
Once in place, we then use a syringe to inject the balloon with a saline solution. We stop after it is filled to the approximate size of a grapefruit; in total, this process takes around 20 minutes. In most cases, you are released to go home the same day.
How Does It Work?
Essentially, the balloon is designed to teach patients portion control. Once expanded to the appropriate size, it sits inside your stomach for six months. It doesn’t disrupt digestive processes, nor does it damage the stomach or stomach lining. The balloon simply helps you feel full so you eat less at meals and during snacks.
Because it occupies space within the stomach, you naturally have a smaller appetite. During the first three months, you will see dramatic results as you practice and learn portion control; in the latter three, as you continue to lose weight, you will develop new and lifelong habits so you continue watching what you eat. This transition period also allows you to adopt an active lifestyle that will further encourage overall health.
Is It Safe?
This is a question we hear frequently, and we’re happy to say this program is very safe. It received FDA approval for use in the United States in 2015 but has been safely and effectively used in other countries since the 1990s.
Additionally, Orbera involves a non-surgical procedure, meaning it is less invasive and poses fewer risks than even bariatric surgery. Equally important, you’ll be under the care of our team throughout the six months you have the balloon in your stomach. We will monitor your progress and ensure you remain healthy – as you continue to shed pounds.
What You Can Expect
While the balloon itself might appear to be the means by which you lose weight, this is actually an all-encompassing program that allows you to modify your lifestyle and behaviors. The balloon, therefore, is simply a tool. It can put you on the path to weight loss, while we coach and counsel you on the best ways to manage your weight.
Weight Loss Numbers
Many patients ask how much weight they can expect to lose with this tool, but providing an exact estimate for each person is difficult. This is because results vary, as each body responds in its own way to the balloon and program. Additionally, some patients adopt new lifestyles very quickly, while others do so at a more gradual pace.
What we can tell you is that patients lose, on average, around three times more weight with this tool than without it. We tell patients frequently that their progress depends upon their motivation, willingness to adopt new habits, and determination to follow the recommendations we make.
One of the foremost benefits this program offers is individualization. We tailor a complete regimen based upon your body, weight loss goals, and personal needs. The premise is to help you manage your weight long after the balloon is removed. To do this, we will examine specific areas of your life, including:
- Daily nutritional needs
- Exercise routines
- Support system
- Long-term goals
In this way, you see that the balloon is not a quick fix but rather a commitment to making healthier lifestyle choices. We will work with you to correct old habits and give your body and mind time to adjust to new patterns.
After the Balloon
Throughout the six months you’ll spend with the balloon, you will condition your body to feel full on smaller meals. In addition, you will enjoy more nutritious foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and more. Combine these measures with a fresh approach to health and a customized workout plan and you’re armed with the tools necessary to keep weight off.
We don’t expect that your journey will end there, though. Setting new goals, both large and small, will continue providing a sense of achievement – and keep your body healthy. This is why we encourage patients to work toward new fitness ideals; maybe you want to run a marathon, swim a mile, learn to mountain bike, or dance the tango. The possibilities are endless.
Who Should Consider This Option?
We understand that trying to lose weight can feel like an uphill battle. When you try to do it alone, the light at the end of the tunnel can seem very far away indeed. Our comprehensive team approach, combined with the Orbera balloon, is right for many people, including those with a body mass index of between 30 and 40.
This option is also ideal for anyone who has participated in another program designed for weight loss and regained the pounds after the program’s end. Orbera is so unique for this reason: you don’t have to go it alone. We’ll be by your side every step of the way.
Making the Commitment
You do need to commit to a 12-month program. Without following the details of your specific regimen, which will include proper diet and exercise, you may see zero results.
This commitment is equally important to your long-term success. To chronicle your journey, feel free to use a journal and record your daily thoughts and feelings. You can then look back on all the progress you’ve made and remind yourself weight loss is not a destination, but an ongoing adventure.
Before we determine your candidacy for Orbera, we will review your current and past medical conditions. We’ll also conduct a full physical examination and ask questions about your desire to join the program and how it can become a viable part of your life.
It’s important to remember the balloon can only be placed within your stomach for six months. It is, therefore, crucial to use this time not only to lose weight but to focus on maintaining your progress indefinitely.
When it comes to weight loss, there is no small number of options. Perhaps the most popular is diet, but simply using this word implies a regimen that leaves you feeling deprived. Diets routinely fail for this reason. In addition, they’re rarely sustainable. Daily meals of just smoothies, for instance, cannot be maintained for long without impacting your health.
Orbera doesn’t rely on fads or gimmicks. Neither does it require you to immediately go into an exercise program that requires you to push your body to extreme and uncomfortable limits. Instead, we’ll build a routine together, one that gradually increases as your weight comes off. This will allow you to continue amping up your physical activity in a way that works with – not against – your capabilities.
The Recognized Choice
Orbera has earned recognition from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy for safe and effective obesity treatment. It is the only weight loss balloon with such a designation, meaning it has clear advantages – name efficacy – when compared to other balloons.
Unlike surgery, patients who use Orbera have no incisions or scars. This means your body is not altered in any surgically-induced way. It also promotes slower eating, which can in turn help you feel fuller longer.
This is an important point in and of itself. It allows you to better absorb nutrients and water, thereby allowing your body to use food as fuel. You’ll also stay hydrated longer and enjoy more satisfaction from each meal. No longer will you feel the need to rush between food options without really enjoying what you eat.
Quarantine Weight Gain
We mentioned this phenomenon earlier but wanted to come around to it again. Obstacles posed by the pandemic have been great, and for those already struggling with their weight before quarantine, the hurdles have been very high.
It’s not impossible to gain 30 pounds in three months, an effect we and other health professionals are seeing. Stress-induced eating is very common as people turn to food as a means of comfort. Weight gain during the pandemic has been especially prominent around the middle, where stress hormones signal the body to amplify its fat storage.
In addition to stress, the pandemic sparked a lot of “worried” food shopping, in which consumers purchased quantities of groceries in the fear that food may not be available in the future. This, in conjunction with being home all day every day, has created a health epidemic in which many people are heavier today than they were at the beginning of the year.
Even more frustrating has been the closure of parks, restrictions on activities, and shipping delays in getting home exercise equipment delivered. Speaking of home exercise, it sounds like a solution too good to be true, and it often is. Most people neglect to diligently use the treadmills, hand weights, and yoga mats they order.
What You Can Do
Orbera eliminates the guesswork that often accompanies weight management. It provides a real tool and a real plan. Even better, you’ll be held accountable for your progress as you routinely meet with one of our staff members. Sometimes, accountability is the incentive that patients need.
Importance of Body Mass Index
BMI is a simple measurement that can provide a great deal of information about your health. To calculate yours, simply divide your weight by your height squared. A handy chart can also do the math for you.
This number is important for determining the potential impact weight can have on your body. A higher BMI puts you at risk for developing conditions like diabetes, osteoarthritis, and heart disease. We will use your BMI as a factor in considering your candidacy for Orbera.
We’re Here for You
It’s possible you didn’t know of Orbera before today. Or, perhaps you’ve heard of this option before but are only now considering how it can help you. Regardless, now that the new “normal” is here, and we know what we’re facing, this is a great time to consider a serious weight management program.
We want to answer all your questions and provide the guidance you need. Call us at Surgical Associates of South Florida, LLC, in South Miami, FL, today.