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Obes Surg. 2012 Apr;22(4):565-71. doi: 10.1007/s11695-011-0514-y.

Intragastric balloon in association with lifestyle and/or pharmacotherapy in the long-term management of obesity.

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Endocrinology Unit, Department of Clinical and Molecular Biomedicine, University of Catania Medical School, Catania, Italy.



Intragastric balloon (BioEnterics Intragastric Balloon, BIB®) or pharmacotherapy are possible options for the treatment of obese patients when traditional approaches have failed. The aim of our study was to compare in obese patients the effect on weight loss and metabolic changes of lifestyle modifications associated with either BIB or pharmacotherapy or the two treatments in sequence as a maintenance strategy for weight loss.


Fifty obese patients were recruited and randomly assigned to lifestyle modifications combined with either BIB for 6 months (n = 30) or sibutramine (pharmacotherapy group) for 1 year (n = 20). After BIB removal, patients were randomly assigned to either correct lifestyle (BIB/lifestyle) or lifestyle plus pharmacotherapy (BIB/pharmacotherapy).


At 6 months, patients treated with BIB lost significantly (P < 0.05) more weight (percent of initial weight lost, %IWL = 14.5 ± 1.2; percent of excess BMI lost, %EBL = 37.7 ± 3.2) than patients who received pharmacological treatment (%IWL = 9.1 ± 1.5, %EBL = 25.3 ± 4.1). At 1 year, the weight lost was significantly (P < 0.05) greater in patients treated with either BIB/pharmacotherapy (%IWL = 15.8 ± 2.3%, %EBL = 41.3 ± 6.7%) or BIB/lifestyle (%IWL = 14.3 ± 2.7, %EBL = 34.9 ± 6.5%) in respect to pharmacotherapy group (%IWL = 8.0 ± 1.4%, %EBL = 22.1 ± 3.9%). Moreover, patients treated sequentially with BIB/lifestyle or BIB/pharmacotherapy showed a significant (P < 0.05) improvement in insulin sensitivity and triglycerides levels.


BIB represents an efficacious long-term obesity treatment when supplemental strategies, as lifestyle modifications or pharmacotherapy, are established for weight maintenance after its removal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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