The Obalon Ballon System

Obalon is a unique, non-surgical, FDA approved weight loss program consisting of a series of three balloons, each of which is compressed into a small capsule, then swallowed and inflated with gas.  By taking up space in your stomach the Obalon balloons make it much easier to follow a calorie restricted diet.   In a large clinical trial, people treated with the Obalon Balloon System in addition to diet and exercise, lost twice as much weight as those treated by diet and exercise alone.  Furthermore, an average of 89% of the weight lost while the Obalon balloons were in place was kept off 6 months after the Obalon balloons were removed.

Each Obalon balloon is compressed and encased in a small capsule making it easy to swallow.  After swallowing an Obalon balloon, an X-ray is taken confirming that the balloon capsule has reached the stomach.  The balloon is then inflated with gas.  A second Obalon balloon is placed two weeks after the first balloon and then a third Obalon balloon four weeks later.   Each Obalon balloon placement takes about 10 minutes and does not require sedation.   After 6 months, all three balloons are removed during an upper GI endoscopy with light anesthesia. 


Marin Gastroenterology’s Obalon Program

Marin Gastroenterology’s Obalon program is highly personalized. One of our gastroenterologists will complete a medical evaluation looking for potential causes for excess weight including medical conditions and prescription medications. Your doctor will also identify any complications from excess weight, including fatty liver, esophageal reflux, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. If you are a candidate for the Obalon Balloon System you will meet our weight loss dietician, Kim Kulp RD. Kim will guide you in making the best food choices while you have the Obalon balloons in place as well as after balloon removal. You will see Kim regularly during the 6 months of treatment for ongoing support and education.

We offer a comprehensive package that includes Obalon balloon placements, medical follow-up, dietician visits and Obalon balloon removal. Obalon balloons are placed at SimonMed-Imaging and Obalon balloons are removal at the Endoscopy Center of Marin, both of which are in Greenbrae. All Obalon Balloon System placement and removal procedures, as well as medical follow-up, are performed by Marin Gastroenterology’s physicians. All appointments and procedures are coordinated by our Obalon Balloon System program care navigator, Sarah Chanell.

You are a potential candidate for the Obalon Balloon System if your body mass index (BMI) is between 30 to 40. You can calculate your BMI here.
Answers to frequently asked questions about Obalon are available at

If you would like to schedule a consultation please call our office. Let the receptionist know that you are calling about the Obalon Balloon System for weight loss.

The Obalon Balloon System is not covered by insurance. Financing is available through CareCredit to learn more click here.