Weight-loss pill releases balloon in stomach

Clinical trials underway in United Kingdom

By Ashleigh Coran - Producer

LONDON - Doctors in Britain are offering a new way to lose weight -- a pill that drops a balloon in the stomach.

The makers of the Obalon gastric weight loss pill say it can help overweight patients lose up to 20 pounds in 3 months.

Instead of surgery, patients swallow a capsule with a balloon inside that a gastric surgeon then inflates into an apple-sized bubble. The hope is to make patients feel full.

"This balloon will act to educate them about portion size and re-train their brain and their mindset a little" said surgeon, Sally Norton.

Developers say the capsule is not a magic pill, but rather designed as a way to start a weight loss program. Months after treatment, the balloon is deflated and removed.

Clinical trials are currently underway in England. One patient says she has lost 19 pounds.

A two-balloon pill procedure costs about $5,000 dollars.

Obalon has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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