Holyoke Medical Center Weight Management Program Now Offers Gastric Balloon

HOLYOKE — The Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) Weight Management Program has begun offering a new solution to people struggling to achieve a healthy weight: the ORBERA weight-loss gastric balloon. Designed to manage portion control during a six-month placement period, the balloon has been shown to help patients lose three times more weight than with diet and exercise alone.

Under the care of Dr. Yannis Raftopoulos, Dr. Martin Walko, and the HMC Weight Management Program team, weight-loss patients now have another treatment option to help reach and maintain their healthy weight goals.

“A gastric balloon is designed to work together with lifestyle changes. It’s not a magic bullet where you put in a balloon and everything is perfect,” said Walko, a fellowship-trained bariatric and laparoscopic surgeon. “It’s used as part of a program that includes education, proper diet, and increased activity.”

The non-permanent, minimally invasive gastric balloon is placed during an endoscopic outpatient procedure, allowing patients to go home the same day. A second endoscopic procedure is performed six months after placement to remove the device. The ORBERA gastric balloon is FDA-approved and is a safe and effective weight-loss solution with more than 20 years of global experience and real-world results. More than 220,000 ORBERA balloons have been distributed worldwide in over 80 countries. Under current guidelines in the U.S., candidates for a gastric balloon should have a body-mass index of 30 to 40.

Insurance typically does not cover gastric balloons, making it a self-pay procedure. Holyoke Medical Center has competitively priced the procedure for patients in an effort to make it as accessible as possible for those suffering from obesity.

For additional information regarding the Holyoke Medical Center Weight Management Program, visit holyokehealth.com/wmp. The practice is located at 11 Hospital Dr., Holyoke, and can be reached at (413) 535-4757.