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After 40 years of weight problems, Jack achieves his goals thanks to a gastric balloon

After 40 years of weight problems, Jack achieves his goals thanks to a gastric balloon

Jack, 67, spoke to Futura about his long journey to losing weight. After years of failure, an unconventional method has managed to overcome those extra pounds. Discover its history.

Jacques Degrout, a 67-year-old engineer, is one of the French people concerned about their weight. ” For a long time I was overweight, with yo-yos, with diets. I bought a whole bunch of diet books that I didn’t finish reading and it didn’t help. I was waiting to find the right solution. »

The right solution for Jack is a weight loss technique unknown to the general public: the gastric balloon. The balloon settles in the stomach, where it occupies a feeling of early satiety. The first balls were designed in the 1980s, but after disappointing results and various problems, the technology fell into oblivion without disappearing.

In forty years, hardware has evolved, and Allurion Technologies, a company founded in 2009 by two Harvard students, has been at the forefront of this technology. Its efficacy and safety have been demonstrated in numerous scientific studies conducted by Allurion. The Allurion Ball and accompanying aftercare program helped Jack achieve his weight loss goals. ” My weight was 145 kg when I started for the 86 meter, and I lost 35 kg in two stages. About fifteen kilograms fairly fast, the next twenty kilograms slower. The program began in November 2019, two months before the onset of Covid-19, and his weight has since stabilized.

stomach balloon

I found that having surgery was not a good solution, it was a health hazard. Unlike the first gastric balloon models placed under endoscopy, Allurion does not require a hospital stay or medical procedures. Just swallow it. The balloon, made of a thin film of polyurethane, is compressed into a capsule that the patient takes with a glass of water under the supervision of a physician at one of the company’s 51 clinics. ” It’s a little bigger than the capsule, and there’s a very small thread attached because that’s where we’re going to fill the balloon. After half a liter of water did not swallow the pill! He remembers.

The small thread that Jack invokes is a catheter through which the doctor introduces sterile physiological water into a gastric balloon. Once the catheter is full, it is carefully pulled out, then a small layer of fat blocks the opening. Notably, the balloon remains in the stomach for sixteen weeks before it deflates spontaneously.

If that sounds as easy as pie, Jack remembers that the early days with the ball were rather unpleasant” For two or three days, I felt really tired, nauseous without being unacceptable, we are not healthy and we want to sleep. » The first meals are liquid (broth) before the actual nutritional management begins.

Personal follow

All patients who enter the Allurion program are monitored by several experts, including a dietitian, and receive information on their patients’ weight and physical activity through a connected scale, activity tracker and smartphone app. Adjustments are made from this data to customize tracking. Allurion promises a loss of 10-15% of the initial weight, and Jack lost 15 kg with the ball – a weight loss that then continued thanks to the rebalancing of food. ” The ball made me enter a frame that I did not get out of. »

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If, for Jack, the ball is forgotten most of the time, to the point” that we still wonder if we have He reminded himself when he was evacuated. Most of the time, the empty balloon comes out through normal routes, but sometimes it takes another route, as was the case for Jack. vomit it! ” I had nausea and it came out that way. I was on the edge of a park and noticed when I bent over the ball in front of me. It is a kind of chewing gum, it has no more texture. »

“No Regret” for Jack who achieved his goals

If the experiment is successful for Jack, in rare cases, it leads to serious complications. The scientific literature reports the case of a 43-year-old woman who failed to evacuate the balloon It dates back to 2021. His clogged bowel had to be freed endoscopy. This case was presented as the first in the scientific literature by its authors. In 2018, a Another 55-year-old patient He had a small bowel obstruction from a gastric balloon six weeks after it was inserted. He had to undergo a colonoscopy to have it removed, a procedure that left no traces. These examples are rare, they represent only a minority of the 100,000 balloons placed at Allurion Clinics to date, but they are all intact.

From all of this experience, Jack keeps a positive memory. Despite spending 4,000 euros to participate in the program – 2,000 euros for a ball and 2,000 euros for follow-up with the nutritionist and the equipment the patient keeps – he recommends the program to his friends and family. ” without remorse. It’s been 40 years since I got the solution, and now it’s behind me. »

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