This is a story about “A balloon inserted into (the) stomach in a procedure that lasts less than 20 minutes. European doctors hail the technique as a simple, less invasive way to fight obesity.” It’s another surgical intervention that may aid with weight loss. The potential harms, benefits and costs of the treatment are not adequately presented. The story did not provide the source of the clinical evidence for claims about maintaining weight loss with the balloon procedure.
No estimate of costs
No real estimate of benefit given other than the results of a few cases.
Harms of treatment only
provided as an anecdote from one patient without estimates of prevelance. Weight re-gain is clearly mentioned.
Source of the clinical evidence for the maintenance of weight loss with the balloon was not provided;
it would appear to be derived from the doctors’ own patients, though the nature of their follow-up is not provided.
Mention of 25% reduced life expectancy from obesity, without
mention that this figure derives from those individuals with morbid obesity with co-morbidities such as diabetes, sleep apnea
and coronary artery disease.
Followed the Italian source’s interview with input from a U.S. surgeon who is interested and experienced in
weight loss surgery.
Brief mention is made of patient
attempts to lose weight without success prior to use of the balloon. Only the briefest mention of other obesity surgical
techniques. No mention made of weight loss medications.
Mentions that gastric balloons have not been approved by the FDA.
Mentions that gastric
balloon is a relatively new approach to treating obesity; one surgeon in Italy interviewed has been using it for six