Medical Edge Reports: Life-changing weight loss

(Courtesy: WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A medical team in the Tri-State is one of the first in the country to offer a life changing procedure to lose weight.

It's so new officials don't even know it's long term success. The big appeal is that it's not major surgery. Instead, it's an outpatient procedure that puts balloons in a person's belly. Those Local 12 News talked to at the Journeylite Surgery Center in Blue Ash said those balloons simply keep people from wanting to eat.

In a world full of food Kristin Niermeyer said dieting seemed simply impossible. And as as a fire-fighter and EMT, her lifelong battle with weight was getting in the way. So Kristin turned to Dr. Trace Curry, a bariatric surgeon who is now offering patients a drastic solution to weight loss without major surgery.

It's called the ReShape Dual Balloon. It's two balloons connected together which is put into the stomach through a simple procedure that does not require any incisions.

Dr. Curry said, "And it basically occupies space in the patients stomach so they get full earlier and they are less hungry after the procedure."

Kristin allowed Local 12 news to go into the procedure room with her to show how the re-shape insertion worked. After sedation Dr. Curry simply used a camera and a tiny insertion tube to put the balloons into her stomach. They were then filled with a blue saline, or salt water solution, so if there was a leak or a problem it could be easily tracked.

The pounds come off in the days and weeks that follow because, "The patients will feel full earlier mainly because of the space the balloon takes place in the stomach. To they are going to lose weight because the portion sizes will be much smaller," said Dr. Curry.

The balloons will stay in the stomach for about six months. The total time for exercise and diet for counseling needs to be at least a year. It is unknown yet how long the results will last but many people do have a pretty dramatic result at least when it comes to weight loss. That certainly has been true for Chris Ortman. He too opted for the reshape balloon after hitting an all time weight high of nearly 300 pounds. He had the reshape for 55 days when Local 12 talked with him. He was about half way to his goal of dropping at least 60 pounds. He said at first he did feel the side effects of nausea and a drop in energy because he ate less, but not anymore.

Both Chris and his wife Vicky have serious diet and exercise changes and those changes along with the re-shape. The procedure is so new it's not yet covered by medical insurance plans. It costs $6,000-$9,000.

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