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New balloon technique offers hope for weight loss

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A new medical procedure involving balloons in the stomach is offering hope for weight loss. (KABC)

A new medical technique for weight loss is offering renewed hope to patients who have been frustrated by more traditional methods.

The non-surgical procedure involves inserting two balloons into the patient's stomach for up to six months, reducing appetite by making him or her feel full.

It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year and is intended for obese people with a body-mass index between 30 and 40.

One local patient trying the technique is 27-year-old Yuri Soria. The Riverside woman hopes to lose 50 to 60 pounds in time for her 10-year high school reunion in six months.

"I've done meal portion control, exercising and going to the gym," Soria said. "I've tried a lot and I've lost a lot and I've gained it back."

Because the technique is so new, its effectiveness is still being studied. The procedure, which costs around $8,500, is not covered by insurance.

Dr. Hooman Shabatian of Tarzana, who treated Soria, warned that some side effects can include nausea and vomiting, particularly in the first few days after the procedure as the body adjusts to the foreign object placed inside the stomach.
Related Topics:
healthweight lossmedicalhealthy livingTarzanaLos Angeles County
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