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Obes Surg. 2007 Apr;17(4):504-9.

Intragastric balloon and binge eating.

Author information

  • 1D.E.T.O., Sezione di Chirurgia Generale e Trapianto di Fegato, Universit√† di Bari, Italy. g.bros@tiscali.it



In recent years, particular attention has been paid to the effect that eating disturbances and especially binge eating can have on the outcome of surgical treatments for obesity. Endoscopic positioning of the Bioenterics intragastric balloon (BIB) is mainly used in the work-up for surgical treatment of morbid obesity. Available data show that the BIB is a valid tool for reducing weight and co-morbidity, even if only a temporary treatment in morbidly obese patients. We evaluated the results of treatment with the BIB with the patient's tendency to indulge in binge eating.


Between April 2003 and March 2006, 89 patients with morbid obesity (BMI 39-55) were enrolled in the study. Before introducing the BIB and within 3 months after removal, patients underwent a psychiatric evaluation and the following psychodiagnostic tests: SCID (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV), ED-SCID (Eating Disorder Module, Structured Clinical Interview) and BSQ (Binge Scale Questionnaire). All those positive for the BED criteria according to the DSM IV, and who had at least one binge eating episode per week, were considered Binge Eaters (BE).


Of the 89 patients enrolled, 75 were eligible for evaluations (M:F = 12:63), and 27 were positive for binge eating (BE). There were no significant differences in age and preoperative BMI between the BE group and the 48 patients without BE (NBE group). The complication and failure rates with the BIB treatment were significantly higher in the BE group (P<0.01). After treatment with the BIB, both groups showed a significant reduction in BMI (P<0.01), but the NBE-group showed a significantly higher weight (BMI 5.7 +/- 2.5 kg/m2) than the BE-group (BMI 3.3 +/- 2.2 kg/m2) (P=0.03).


The results of treatment with the intragastric balloon appear to be affected by binge eating pattern in morbidly obese patients, even if the presence of this behavior does not prevent a successful reduction in the BMI. Binge eating does not seem to be a contraindication for the adjuvant use of the BIB before a bariatric operation. A limitation of our study is the short period of observation, related to the period of the BIB in the gastric lumen (not more than 6 months). Further studies may show whether the association of psychiatric treatment with the BIB in patients affected by binge eating may enhance the results of the treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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