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A Cutting-edge Gastric Balloon Arrives in Quebec

A swallowable gastric balloon has arrived in Quebec after key approval from Health Canada. It is now available at Clinique Michel Gagner.

MONTREAL, Quebec November 10, 2022

The high-tech gastric balloon is a capsule that contains the deflated balloon, which you swallow as a pill before it is inflated. The balloon becomes the size of a grapefruit, which takes up space in your stomach, to make you feel full and then deflates itself after four months. It passes naturally through the digestive system.

The catch? The procedure doesn't require anesthesia or surgery to insert the balloon, which drastically reduces the barriers to entry for millions of potential patients.

The new balloon is set to revolutionize weight-loss procedures available in Canada where, according to Statistics Canada, 8.2 million people in Canada are categorized as obese.

The balloon is offered in only a select few bariatric clinics in the country, one of which is Clinique Michel Gagner in Montreal, Quebec.

Dr. Lamees Almutlaq, bariatric surgeon at Clinique Michel Gagner, says, "with this non-invasive technology, we will be able to help many people kickstart and achieve their weight loss goals, including those too high risk to undergo general anesthesia or simply have a fear of endoscopy, all within a 15-minute procedure."

"The best candidates are those with a body mass index, an index used to estimate body fat, less than 35," explains Dr. Michel Gagner, a pioneer in the field of bariatric surgery. "Sometimes we can see a weight loss of almost 10 points of body mass index, and that's quite dramatic – comparable to a Sleeve Gastrectomy."

Allurion, the company responsible for developing the balloon, says this is an additional tool to help fight obesity. They call it a "honeymoon from hunger," where patients can adopt healthy habits and maintain sustained weight loss.

However, Dr. Gagner stresses that this procedure is not a magic bullet. It is best used in combination with healthy dieting and appetite-suppressing medication, such that when the balloon disappears weight regain is prevented.

The all-inclusive procedure doesn't just stop once the balloon is in the stomach. "We have a team of dietitians that are going to help the patients track their progress", explains Louidgina Khoury, head Dietitian at Clinique Michel Gagner.

Quebec saw its first Allurion balloon patients in late October, with more to come throughout November and December.

For further information, please call us at (514) 922-5055 or complete our Patient Questionnaire, and someone will contact you.