Orbera vs Obalon: Which Gastric Balloon Is the Best?

Orbera vs Obalon: which is better

If you have decided you want or need to lose weight but you do not wish to have surgery a gastric balloon may be a good choice for you. Perhaps you have tried different fad diets or commercial weight-loss programs but were unsuccessful in losing weight and need a little extra help to get you where you need to be. A non-surgical weight loss procedure such as a gastric balloon may help you while you learn and put into practice lifestyle and behavior changes that will help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight long-term.

How do you decide which gastric balloon procedure to use? Obalon balloon vs Orbera? Does the Orbera balloon work the same as Obalon? Is the weight loss potential the same with both Obalon and Orbera? How Does Orbera compare to Obalon in cost? These are all good questions and today we are going to look at Orbera vs Obalon in a side-by-side comparison so you can make an informed decision when choosing the procedure that is right for you.


How Do Gastric Balloons Work For Weight Loss?

No matter which gastric balloon system you choose, they all facilitate weight loss using restrictive measures although the techniques may be slightly different. Gastric balloons help individuals lose weight by taking up space in the stomach. The individual feels full after eating only a small amount limiting their calorie intake. A balloon system is meant to be used as part of a supervised weight loss program together with a low-calorie, healthy diet and an exercise plan. It will take all these elements for patients to be successful in losing weight.

Additionally, balloon systems are only to be used temporarily for six months. The goal during the placement of the balloon is for the patient to learn and implement new lifestyle choices that become habits they continue for a lifetime. Both the Obalon and Orbera balloons are removed after six months endoscopically while the patient is under mild sedation.

How Does The Obalon Balloon Work?

The Obalon balloon is made up of three different smaller balloons that are filled with gas and introduced into the patient’s stomach one at a time during three different appointments over three months.

The balloon is placed in the patient’s stomach by the patient swallowing a capsule that contains the balloon and also has a tiny tube attached. The doctor uses this tube to inflate the balloon to a predetermined size and the tube is detached. The patient leaves the office with no downtime and returns a month later to receive the second balloon and then a third the following month.

The patient participates in supervised treatment for a full twelve months with the support of their weight loss clinic. The balloons are removed after six months but the patient is to continue using portion control, exercise, and continue a low-calorie diet for the remainder of the supervised program.

How Does The Orbera Balloon Work?

The Orbera® balloon uses one soft silicone balloon that is filled with saline to occupy space in the stomach to act as portion control so the individuals can not eat too much at one time and feel full faster and longer.

The placement of the Orbera balloon only takes one office visit and is done using a tool called an endoscope (a thin hollow tube with a camera) that is lowered down the patient’s throat while they are lightly sedated. The deflated balloon is placed down the endoscope and into the patient’s stomach and then filled with saline. The size of the inflated balloon is usually about the size of a grapefruit. Patients can go home the same day but they normally experience discomfort for a few days while their stomach is adjusting.

Patients are supervised and supported for a year as they learn new behavior patterns and lose weight. The balloon is removed after six months but the patients continue their supervised treatment for the full twelve months. During the latter six months, they continue to practice their new healthy eating habits and physical fitness programs to continue to lose weight and keep it off. The patient has the full support of their weight loss clinic and is never on their own while navigating this weight loss journey.

weight loss balloon before and after
Orbera weight loss balloon before and after
orbera gastric balloon reviews
Orbera gastric balloon results

Obalon vs Orbera Cost

The cost of gastric balloon systems varies by geographical location and weight loss surgeon. The Obalon balloon system appears to be a bit more costly in most regions due to the three separate office appointments required for the doctor to stagger the insertion of the three balloons.

Some gastric surgeons will offer specials on gastric balloon programs such as IBI Healthcare Institute in Atlanta, Georgia is currently running a special on the cost of the Orbera balloon system for $5,999. Subject to change at any time.

  • The average cost of a gastric balloon in the United States is $8,150;
  • Obalon vs Orbera – neither is covered by insurance;
  • Medical loans are available for qualified patients;
  • FSA or HSA Tax savings accounts can help offset some costs.

Orbera vs Obalon Comparison Chart

Orbera Balloon Obalon Balloon
Number of Balloons
One Three placed spaced one a month apart for 3 months
Method of Placement
Through an endoscope under mild sedation Success rate of 100% for placement Swallowed like a pill. Some patients are unable to swallow the Obalon capsule, due to its size of a large grape
Substance Used for Inflation
Saline Nitrogen
Office Visits Required for Placement
Only 1 office visit 3 separate office visits one per month for the first three months of the program
Side Effects Immediately After Placement*
Patients may experience nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, acid reflux Patients may experience abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or a sensation of balloon movement initially
Average Cost in the USA
$6,000-9,000 $6,500-9,500
Expected Weight Loss**
20-70 pounds

3x as much weight with Orbera than with diet and exercise alone

15-50 pounds

*Until the stomach becomes adjusted.

**Potential weight loss results can vary based on the patient’s commitment to following program guidelines. Some patients report losing more than 90 pounds.

If you are interested in learning more about losing weight through a gastric balloon procedure, contact IBI Healthcare Institute today to set up a consultation to discuss if you may be a candidate. The team of professionals at IBI Healthcare Institute is committed to partnering with you on your weight loss journey and celebrating your success.