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Background: Laparoscopic bariatric operations can be technically challenging in massively obese patients. The potential of the intragastric balloon for preoperative weight reduction was evaluated in candidates for laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGBP) with super obesity.

Methods: From January 2004 to March 2005, 10 patients with super obesity who were potential candidates for LRYGBP were included in a prospective observational study. An intragastric balloon was placed endoscopically under general anesthesia. Patients were then followed by a multidisciplinary team until removal of the balloon after 6 months. Weight, BMI, and percent excess weight lost (%EWL) were monitored after 1, 3 and 6 months.

Results: The 10 patients were all female with mean /- SD age of 33 /-11 years (range 17-51). Initial weight was 175 /-25 kg (range 135-223) and initial BMI was 64 /-7 kg/m2 (range 59-78). After completion of 1, 3 and 6 months, weight, BMI, and %EWL reached respectively: 166 /-27 kg*, 165 /-27 kg*, and 169 /-26 kg*; 61.1 /-7.6 kg/m2*, 60.8 /-8.4 kg/m2*, and 61 /-8.2 kg/m2*; 9 /-5%, 10 /-7%, 7 /-6%. (*= P <0.01 vs preop). Conclusion: In potential candidates for LRYGBP with super obesity, preoperative placement of an intragastric balloon can reduce the excess weight by 10% within 3 months. Extending this period failed to improve these results further.

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