Orbera vs Obalon vs Reshape: Which Gastric Balloon Is Best?

What is Gastric Balloon

Which one should you get?

A gastric balloon is an excellent option for those who have struggled to lose weight but either don’t want to undergo surgery or don’t qualify for weight loss surgery. If you feel like a gastric balloon is a good choice for you, your next question may be, which one should you get? 
Three popular brands of gastric balloons are Orbera, Obalon and ReShape. They all work in the same way — the balloon (or balloons) take up space in your stomach, reducing your stomach’s capacity for food and helping you feel full quicker. They all remain in place for six months, after which they are removed under mild sedation. 

Three brands of gastric balloons are currently FDA-approved: Orbera, Obalon and Reshape. Let’s look at how each one works and what you can expect. 


Orbera vs Obalon vs Reshape Balloon Review

Orbera Obalon Reshape
No. of balloons 1 3 balloons over a 3-month period 2
How is it inserted? Gastroscope under sedation; 100% placement success rate Swallowed like a pill; some people may have a hard time swallowing the Obalon capsule, as it is about the size of a large grape Gastroscope under sedation; 100% placement success rate
Material it's inflated with Saline Nitrogen Saline
Are co-morbidties required? No No No
No. of office visits? 1 3 1
Results Patients lost 3 times more weight than w/ diet & exercise alone Patients lost twice as much weight than w/ diet & exercise alone Patients lost twice as much weight than w/ diet & exercise alone

Orbera Review


While Orbera has only been FDA-approved for use in the United States since 2015, this brand of balloon has been placed in more than 220,000 patients in more than 80 countries over the past 20-plus years. In a clinical trial, the average person lost three times more weight with Orbera than they did with diet and exercise alone.

What it is

The Orbera balloon is made of soft inflatable silicone. Once placed in the stomach, it’s filled with saline. This is a short-term, nonsurgical weight loss aid, and Soma Weight Loss is one of the few facilities in Los Angeles that performs this procedure. 

How it’s placed

The patient is sedated for maximum comfort. The doctor inserts the balloon via endoscope, which goes in through the mouth. The whole procedure takes about 30 minutes and is considered extremely safe. Patients go home the same day and can usually resume normal activities immediately.

While it’s in place

Like all gastric balloons, Orbera decreases how much food your stomach can hold, helping you feel full quicker and adjust to smaller portion sizes. The balloon stays in place for six months


Removal happens the same way placement happened – you are mildly sedated, and the doctor removes the device using a endoscope.


It’s vital you enroll in an aftercare program and work with your support team and fitness coaches. The entire program is a year from placement to finish, during which you will establish healthy habits that will last a lifetime. 


Obalon Review

What it is

FDA-approved in 2016, Obelon is a three-balloon system that you swallow. Each Obalon balloon comes in a capsule that’s roughly the size of a large grape. In a clinical study, patients lost twice as much weight with the Obalon balloon as they did with diet and exercise alone.

How it’s placed

Obalon requires three office visits:  1) swallow the first balloon, 2) one month later to swallow second balloon, 3) final appointment two months after the second visit to swallow the last balloon.

Patients can go home promptly and return to normal activities usually immediately. 

Some people have difficulty swallowing the pill and therefore are not good candidates for the Obalon system.

While it’s in place

As with the other weight loss balloons, Obalon takes up space in your stomach, helping you to feel full and adjust your portion sizes. Results with the Obalon system may not be as good as those with the largest Orbera balloon, because the Orbera balloon takes up more space in your stomach.


After six months, you will undergo an outpatient procedure in which the doctor uses an endoscope (which goes in through your mouth) to remove all three balloons. You will be given a mild sedative for the removal procedure.


As with any gastric balloon, it’s paramount you get ongoing support from medical and fitness experts. Continue to learn new habits and make healthy choices.


ReShape Review

The ReShape dual balloon system was approved by the FDA in 2015. As with the other weight loss balloons discussed here, it is for people with a BMI of 30-40; it is, however, the only one in this comparison that requires a weight-related comorbidity to qualify for it (a comorbidity is an additional health concern such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea or high cholesterol).   

In a clinical study, patients lost twice as much weight with the ReShape balloon as they did with diet and exercise alone.

What it is

ReShape consists of two balloons that are placed endoscopically by the doctor and then filled with saline. 

How it’s placed

ReShape is placed in a similar procedure to how Orbera is placed – under mild sedation by a doctor using an endoscope. The procedure takes about 20 minutes, and patients may go home and resume normal activities.

While it’s in place

Where Orbera is a single larger balloonReShape is two balloons. They stay in place for six months, during which time it’s important you learn healthy eating habits and adjust your portion sizes. 


ReShape is removed the same way it was inserted – endoscopically, by a doctor using an endoscope. The procedure is brief and safe and will be performed while you are under mild sedation.


Like with all gastric balloons, make good use of the team of professionals who are available to support to you. 

Soma Weight Loss recommends Orbera

The Orbera balloon has proven wonderful results. It is safe and effective, and it has a 100 percent placement success rate. In trials, patients lost three times more weight with the Orbera balloon than with diet and exercise alone – compared to the Obalon and ReShape systems, in which patients lost two times as much weight compared to diet and exercise alone. 

Learn More About the Gastric Balloon Procedure in a Free Consultation

The gastric balloon procedure is ideal for adults who have a Body Mass Index of 30 to 40 and who have not been able to reduce their weight through nutrition and exercise alone. This safe and effective procedure can help jumpstart a permanent healthy lifestyle.

If you’re interested in how the ORBERA Intragastric Balloon procedure can help you, we invite you to set up a free consultation online. You may also give us a call at 855-SOMA-411 (766-2411) for more information.