Brandy’s Orbera Balloon Surgery

Brandy’s Orbera Balloon Surgery at Saline Memorial Hospital

Watch our first weight-loss balloon patient and Dr. Luttrell talk about the procedure and the journey. Find out about Brandy’s Orbera Balloon Surgery!

“I’ve been waiting and wanting something like this for a long time,” says Brandy Garner, Orbera patient. “With me, I want it quick. Everybody does. You just want to take a magic pill and have it be done.”

“It’s always been a struggle of mine from early on,” she continues.

“Every time I eat, it’s like I’m not satisfied and so I just keep eating, eating, eating, eating, eating,” she says.

After that comes guilt, then depression sets in.

“You just get mad at yourself and then you do worse and then I would just eat the whole roll of Oreos and be like, well, I’ve already cheated,” says Brandy. She admits cheating on meals eventually spiraled out of control.

“Moderation. I do not understand what that is,” she explains.

Now at 32-years-old, and at her heaviest, 245 pounds, Brandy is looking for a way out.

“I was in a very dark place,” she says.

Brandy’s weight loss journey led her down a hallway at Saline Memorial Hospital in September.

After getting FDA approval in August, Brandy became the first Arkansan to try out Orbera, a medical balloon.

In a 20-30 minute procedure, doctors place a balloon in the stomach through the mouth. Then, they fill the balloon with saline until it’s about the size of a grapefruit, tricking the stomach into thinking it’s full.

“It’s not just a balloon. We’re trying to change behavior through good diet and exercise,” says Dr. Rex Luttrell, Director of Bariatrics at Saline Memorial Hospital. “Diet plus the balloon, there’s 3 times weight loss than diet alone.”

Three weeks after the procedure, Brandy says, “I’m exactly 15 pounds down.”

There are other improvements. Brandy says her energy level is up and her clothes are fitting looser.

“With this, I’m learning portion control and I’m also learning the right things that I should be eating,” she adds.

Essentially, she’s learning how to use her new stomach so she can reach her goal, 160 pounds. Twice a week, Brandy visits with a nutritionist who’s put her on a 12- hundred calorie a day diet. “We do a lot of home cooked meals, a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables,” she says.

And for the first time, in a long time, this is what happens each morning when she looks in the mirror.

“I see a better me, a little less of me and it makes me smile and it makes me want to continue my journey down the right direction,” she says.

Dr. Luttrell provided some additional information about the balloon:

  • It’s a 12-month program that comes with a customized dietary plan
  • The balloon is removed after 6 months and the dietary plan continues
  • It’s a minimally invasive procedure, and patients can go home a few hours after the implant
  • The procedure takes up to 30 minutes to perform
  • It costs $5,800
  • Insurances do not cover the costs at this moment
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