WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR Spatz3?
The Spatz3 gastric balloon is designed for obese adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 to 40 kg/m2, who haven’t been successful losing weight through diet and exercise.
WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR Spatz3®?
• You are not eligible for Spatz3 if you have had prior stomach or bariatric surgery, including hiatal hernia repair, lap band, sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric bypass.
• You are not eligible if you use anti-inflammatory medications (such as aspirin or ibuprofen) on a daily basis.
• You are not eligible if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
No, insurance does not cover the Spatz3 balloon, but we offer financing options.
WHEN WAS THIS PROCEDURE APPROVED BY THE FDA?
October 15, 2021
HOW LONG DOES THE PROCEDURE TAKE?
Both the balloon insertion and removal take approximately 15 minutes. Balloon adjustment also takes approximately 15 minutes.
HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT THAN BARIATRIC SURGERY?
Unlike bariatric surgery, Spatz3 is performed using an endoscope, which is a flexible camera/device that’s inserted through the esophagus. It’s a fully-reversible, completely non-invasive weight loss procedure. The balloon is removed after eight months and leaves no permanent changes to your anatomy. The procedure requires mild sedation, so no general anesthesia or ventilator are required.
HOW IS SPATZ3 DIFFERENT FROM OTHER GASTRIC BALLOONS?
The primary difference is that the Spatz3 balloon can remain in the stomach for 8 months, rather than 6, and it is an adjustable balloon. That means that your physician can make the balloon smaller to help relieve symptoms, or larger if you need to lose more weight.
HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO COME IN TO THE OFFICE AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
You will be seen by your provider approximately 1-2 weeks after your balloon is placed. You will meet with your True You Weight Loss team once each month for the entire 12-month treatment program. These sessions may be conducted in person, or via video conference (telemedicine) from the comfort of your home. Your provider will be available to see you throughout the treatment period, though we do not require mandatory office visits on a set schedule.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO HAVE THE BALLOON IN MY STOMACH?
Immediately following the procedure, most patients say a gastric balloon makes it feel like they’ve just eaten a large meal. You may experience nausea, cramping, and sometimes even vomiting in the first few days after placement, as the stomach is getting used to the balloon. For patients who are unable to tolerate the discomfort, we have the option to down-adjust the balloon during a second endoscopic procedure.
IS THE BALLOON VISIBLE FROM THE OUTSIDE?
No, the balloon is not visible externally.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT WILL I LOSE?
Shortly after your balloon placement, you’ll experience rapid weight loss. While highly effective, gastric balloons are simply a tool to support weight loss and must be used alongside a diet, exercise and behavior modification program. The amount of weight you lose and maintain depends heavily on how carefully you follow the diet plan and make long-term changes to your lifestyle. In studies, people lost an average of 15% of their body weight at eight months. That means if you weigh 250 pounds, you could reasonably expect to lose roughly 38 pounds, although the range will vary based on the individual and their commitment to following diet and exercise recommendations.
WILL I KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF?
Patients who are successful with the Spatz3 balloon are those who make the appropriate diet and lifestyle changes during the 12-month treatment period. While the balloon itself is effective, most patients establish the healthy habits needed to maintain weight loss during the eight months the balloon remains in place. Because our program is 12 months long, your True You Weight Loss team will monitor you even after the balloon is removed to ensure you continue to succeed in your weight loss journey.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T LOSE AS MUCH WEIGHT AS I WANT, OR IF MY WEIGHT LOSS IS SLOWER THAN EXPECTED?
Your True You Weight Loss team will closely monitor your progress during the Spatz balloon program to ensure you are on track to meet your goals. If you have optimized your diet and exercise regimen and still need additional assistance, we may recommend increasing the size of your balloon (an up-adjustment), which is accomplished through a brief endoscopic procedure, during which your physician can add more fluid to the balloon. Additionally, weight loss medications (pharmacotherapy) may be prescribed under the guidance of your provider. These therapies can significantly enhance your weight loss when used in combination with the Spatz3 balloon.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF THE PROCEDURE?
For more than 20 years, gastric balloons have been used to manage obesity. Today’s modern options such as Spatz3 are the result of decades of research and evolution in shape, size and design. More than 90,000 Spatz3 balloons have been placed worldwide. The risk of a serious side effect is less than 0.03 percent. Potential serious side effects include stomach ulceration, balloon deflation, bowel obstruction, stomach perforation, and death.
WHAT IS THE CHANCE THAT THE BALLOON WILL DEFLATE IN THE STOMACH?
Balloon deflation is a rare event, typically related to a balloon that has been in the stomach for longer than the recommended eight months. This event is estimated to occur in less than 0.3% of patients.
CAN I EXERCISE WITH THE SPATZ3 BALLOON IN MY STOMACH?
Yes! Exercise is a key contributor to our patients’ success. We encourage our Spatz3 patients to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise at least five days per week, and ideally a total of 60 minutes, five days a week. Any exercise is fine, including walking, running, weight training, swimming, bicycling, spinning, aerobics, dancing or even Crossfit. There are no restrictions – and it’s also completely fine to do sit-ups and abdominal exercises.
Yes, there are no travel restrictions with Spatz3. The balloon is not affected by altitude, so it is safe to travel by plane.