Janet Craig has always done her best to live an active lifestyle.
“I’ve tried to eat healthy, we’ve belonged to the “Y” for the two years since we moved here, and just nothing was working,” said Craig of her struggle to lose weight.
Earlier this year, Craig looked online for alternatives to help her drop the pounds.
“I had been unhappy with my weight for a number of years and so I started to research weight loss procedures,” she remembered.
She found Dr. John Scott at Greenville Health System Bariatric Solutions. They decided on a new kind of weight loss treatment called the Orbera Intragastric Balloon. Craig was his first patient for it.
“This obviously sits within the stomach and takes up a lot of volume in the stomach and so patients have the sensation of being full when they eat a small amount of food,” Dr. Scott explained.
The Orbera balloon goes in flat, inserted in a tube through the mouth and down to the stomach. Then it’s filled up with salt water to about the size of a small grapefruit.
Dr. Scott says it’s ideal for those who don’t want surgery.
“We think this device kind of fills that niche for people that aren’t ready for surgery and maybe need a little more than just diet and exercise alone,” Dr. Scott said.
As a part of the program, the patient also goes through months of coaching on changing how they eat, and how often they exercise.
After six months, the balloon is deflated and taken out.
“The patients that have been able to complete their therapy so far have done very well, even better than we expected,” he said.
“I had the procedure May 10th so it’s been just about six months, and I’ve lost 43 pounds so far,” Craig said. She’ll have her balloon removed in November. She has no intention of slacking off her diet or slowing down.
The procedure is new, so insurance doesn’t yet cover it. The cost is about $6 thousand dollars.