The Obera Balloon Procedure vs. The Gastric Sleeve Procedure

We’ve talked highly here at Gastroenterology Associates of New Jersey (GANJ) about the ORBERA® balloon procedure since our practice first offered it in January 2016. Numerous patients have come through our doors looking for a solution that provides the education, support, and results the ORBERA balloon provides. Many of these patients have already:

  1. a) Undergone the gastric sleeve procedure, or;
  2. b) Contemplated the gastric sleeve procedure

Conversely, since its development in the early 1960s, gastric sleeve has, in fact, proven to be successful. This then begs the question: Why ORBERA? Is it even more effective than gastric bypass? The simple answer is yes, but that’s not all, and here’s why:

Overview of Both Procedures

Gastric Sleeve

The older, traditional method for weight loss is known as gastric sleeve. During the procedure, 80 percent of the stomach is completely removed. The hunger sensation is greatly reduced by the surgery, as well as physical room for food to be stored.


Within the past few years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the gastric balloon as a weight-loss procedure. With ORBERA, instead of removing a section of the stomach, a silicone balloon is inserted into the stomach and then filled with saline, reducing the amount of food that it can hold. Like the sleeve, the sensation of hunger is greatly reduced, as well. After a six-month period, the balloon is removed.

Which is Less Invasive?

The ORBBERA balloon procedure is a 100 percent noninvasive, incisionless procedure. The physician inserts a catheter with the balloon solution down the esophagus of a sedated patient, filling the balloon once the stomach is reached. Typically, patients go home the same day.

Gastric bypass is a surgical procedure that is usually performed using minimally invasive techniques. A two-day hospital stint is the norm for those undergoing the gastric sleeve procedure.

Recovery Time

Because ORBERA is noninvasive, you can expect recovery time to be one week as opposed to the two to four weeks needed after the sleeve procedure. Both procedures begin producing results at the six-month mark.

Surgeons vs. Gastroenterologists

We want to point out if your gastroenterologist is certified, he or she can perform the ORBERA procedure for you, as opposed to seeking out a bariatric surgeon to perform the gastric sleeve procedure.

Six-Month Performance

Both procedures produce excellent results, each hovering around 40 to 60 percent weight loss seen after six months. Combined with the right diet and exercise program, patients who have the balloon removed can begin experiencing even greater weight loss as time goes on.

To schedule a consultation with an ORBERA specialist, contact Dr. Volfson’s staff at 973-890-1303 today!