A NEW weight loss balloon that can be swallowed in a pill has been launched across the UK.

Unlike other gastric balloon treatments, Obalon does not require invasive surgery. Instead, in a 10-minute procedure, patients swallow a capsule the size of a large vitamin pill, which contains a deflated balloon.

The capsule is attached to a micro-catheter and, once the capsule arrives in the stomach, the balloon is inflated to the size of an apple. The capsule dissolves and the catheter is removed via the mouth.

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The balloon sits on top of the stomach, giving patients the sensation of fullness with the hope they then eat less and lose weight.

Patients receive a second balloon 30 days after the first procedure, with the option of a third after around 60 days, based on their weight loss and feelings of fullness.