BRAWLEY — Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District, an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network, is the first in the Imperial County and leading the way in Southern California to offer the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System, an FDA approved first-of-its’s-kind non-surgical weight loss procedure for people with mild to moderate obesity.
On Friday, Dr. Oscar Lopez, medical director at the Center for Digestive and Liver Disease, introduced the latest procedure and shared the numerous benefits people struggling with obesity would obtain.
ReShape provides a new option for adults in the Imperial County who have not been successful with diet and exercise alone and do not want or do not qualify for bariatric surgery, according to Dr. Lopez.
“We wanted to offer a non-invasive option for weight loss,” said Lopez. “This procedure is made especially for people who have failed with other things such as over-the-counter medication as well as prescribed like phentermine, exercise and diets.”
For years, Lopez said, a significant gap has existed in treatment options for obesity with limited, effective therapies available.
“We often see patients who are clinically obese and in desperate need of medical intervention to help them lose weight, when diet and exercise alone have failed and surgery is not an option,” he said.
According to Dr. Lopez, ReShape provides this group of “in-between” patients with access to a non-surgical, reversible option to encourage new habits and lasting results.
The procedure consists of inserting the ReShape Dual Balloon in the stomach during a 10-15 minute outpatient procedure, where it remains for six months, serving as a built-in portion control so people may feel full and less hungry. It does not change or alter the natural anatomy of the stomach in any way, he said.
“The procedure is pretty quick, usually between 10-15 minutes, and patients can expect to recover in about two days,” said Lopez. “The entire program runs for 12 months.”
According to Lopez, patients who qualify for the procedure are those who have between 30 to 40 body mass index, better known as (BMI).
Patients who undergo the procedure can expect to receive frequent in-office visits during the 12-month program, along with diet and exercise coaching sessions and access to the ReShape Patient Portal, an online support resource that provides tools and information to help patients track weight loss, diet, and exercise, and access to an on-line community where they can interact with each other.
“I will continue to see the patient to ensure the weight loss is sustained during the six months after the Dual Balloon is removed,” explained Lopez. “Patients will not only keep off the weight they lost in the first six months, but they will continue to lose weight by learning how to eat healthy and control the calories they intake. The dietician helps with portion control and counting in addition to exercise.”
The estimated cost for the 12-month program according to Lopez, is approximately $7,500 with financing options available.
More than 78 million adults in the U.S. are obese. In June 2013, the American Medical Association officially classified obesity as a disease. Clinically defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30, obesity can lead to numerous, serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.
In an FDA clinical study of 326 patients conducted at eight sites in the U.S., patients using ReShape experienced 2.3 times more excess weight loss at six months compared to those who had the diet and exercise program alone. In the clinical trial, patients lost up to 72 pounds in 12 months.
The program is expected to commence in the next several weeks.