The Spatz balloon system is a more suitable choice for patients who have higher weight loss goals, of more than 15 kg, and who would benefit from a longer than 6-month therapy. The Spatz balloon is unique for both adjustability and a longer therapy period (12-months). It’s the only gastric balloon that provides an adjustability feature in terms of increasing or decreasing its volume after insertion using an endoscopy.
In the rare instances where patients experience a more prolonged discomfort after the insertion of the balloon, they can benefit from decreasing the volume of their balloon. On the other hand, those who show limited response to the balloon have the option of getting it increased in volume to boost its weight loss effect.
Studies show that patients can lose an additional 9.4 kg after receiving upward adjustments to the volume of their balloons. Patients can achieve an average excess weight loss (EWL) of 45% to 49% EWL at balloon removal after one year, compared to 32% EWL for Orbera 6-months balloon, according to studies. 80% to 90% of weight loss is achieved during the first three to four months of gastric balloon therapy, after which time balloons’ effect start showing limited satiety effect. At this stage, some patients may report that they feel less full. Thus, an increase in the balloon volume may induce more weight loss. The balloon volume may range from 400-700 ml and is filled with normal Saline mixed with non-toxic blue dye.
An endoscope is used to insert, adjust (if necessary), and remove the balloon from the stomach using mild sedatives and with no need for surgery. The Spatz balloon may be desirable for patients who wish to have a longer duration of therapy. The longer the balloon stays in the stomach, the more likely that the patient would lose weight and have a more stable behavioral change towards food. The balloons help the person change their behavior towards food, and the longer it stays in the stomach, the more likely for the lifestyle changes to have a long-term effect.
The Spatz balloon is currently undergoing an FDA study in the United States, but it’s fully approved for use in Europe as it has a CE-mark. At Nordic Gastric Balloon, many Spats patients have been successful in reaching and sometimes exceeding their weight loss goals. Those who used Spatz achieved about a 50% excess weight loss. One of those Danish patients is a lady who lost 53 kg in 12 months. The pictures of some of those patients who agreed to share their success with other people are posted on Nordic Gastric Balloon.