Will 2015 Bring Intragastric Balloon Approval to the United States? Start Preparing for This New Treatment Modality

| December 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

With the holiday season upon us, and 2015 around the corner, it seems like Obesity Week 2014 was a long time ago. For those of you who were unable to attend, let me summarize this event as the most powerful one I have ever attended. Obesity Week 2014 drew over 5,000 physicians and integrated healthcare professionals. It was filled with outstanding scientific contributions, from the postgraduate courses to the general sessions. There were many highlights of the meeting, but I especially enjoyed the following: 1) the Basic Science Keynote Address by Dr. C. Ronald Kahn on obesity and genetic mapping titled, “Developmental Genes and miRNAs in Control of Body Fat;” 2) the 25th annual Mason Lecture, which was given by Dr. Ed Mason himself; and 3) Dr. Ninh Nguyen’s emotional ASMBS Presidential Address. I encourage you to visit http://www.ASMBS.org to view a new motivational video titled, “It Starts Today,” which was another major highlight of the meeting. My congratulations to Dr. Brian Smith and the communications committee who delivered an excellent revamped website.

I congratulate Dr. Ninh Nguyen on completing his term as the 28th ASMBS president. It was a year filled with success for our society and I look forward to Ninh’s continued involvement in ASMBS leadership. I also take this opportunity to wish Dr. John Morton best of luck as the 29th ASMBS president. I am certain he will do a phenomenal job.

In this final issue of the year, we present some excellent contributions. In “The Medical Student Notebook,” edited by Dr. Daniel Jones, author Grace E. Kim reviews the pathophysiology of refeeding syndrome. Refeeding syndrome is seen mainly in starved patients. Signs and symptoms include fluid overload, cardiac arrhythmias and rhabdomyolisis triggered by hypophosphatemia, hypokalemia, and the hyperinsulinemic state after enteral or parenteral nutrition.

In “Hot Topics in Integrated Health,” edited by ASMBS Integrated Health President Christine Bauer, author Dr. Dene Berman reviews the 2013 Update of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Perioperative Nutritional, Metabolic, and Nonsurgical Support of the Bariatric Surgery Patient and discusses 15 guidelines that are relevant to the role of the psychologist.

Also in this issue, we present Part 2 of the “Emerging Technologies” article titled “Advancements in Obesity Treatment for the Low BMI Patient Population. Part 1, which appeared in the November 2014 issue of Bariatric Times, focused on the United States perspective. Part 2 describes experience outside of the United States. In this interview, Drs. Lopez-Nava and Ngatchu discuss their experience using the intra-gastric balloon as a nonsurgical intervention for weight loss.

I believe that we will see United States FDA approval for the use of the intragastric balloons in bariatric patients in 2015. Stay tuned and make sure you are signed up for training and implementation of this new treatment modality. Though controversial for many, I believe that we will see that reversible endoscopic procedures will be combined with anorectic drugs in order to achieve a long-lasting weight loss.

In “Medical Methods in Obesity Treatment,” Dr. Craig Primack provides a review of Contrave® (Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., Deerfield, Illionois), a newly released and FDA-approved drug for weight loss.

This month’s installment of “Checklists in Bariatric Surgery” focuses on legal issues in bariatric surgery. Here, we present 10 recommendations that emphasize how important it is for bariatric surgeons to have a clear consent form and meticulous documentation of events in the perioperative period. Empathy and compassion for those patients that develop complications are another very important factor that will help our physicians prevent litigation.

Connie Stillwell, the new executive director of the ASMBS Foundation, reviews the Foundation’s achievements during 2014. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Connie and her team on their strong work and the outstanding organization of the LEAD luncheon. We all very much enjoyed the awards ceremony, especially Dr. Robert Brolin’s speech as the 2014 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations also go to Dr. George Blackburn who was recently honored by the Department of Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Boston, Massachusetts, by naming the Bariatric Surgical Service the “Blackburn Service.” Dr. Daniel Jones provides a nice report of Dr. Blackburn’s accomplishments accompanied by words of congratulations from BIDMC colleagues and ASMBS Leadership. We have followed George’s major contributions to the field of bariatric surgery over the past decades and this great honor comes as no surprise. Congratulations again, Dr. Blackburn.

As this year comes to an end, we grieve over the loss of Dr. John Linnear who passed away this past month. Dr. Linnear was a past ASMBS president and pioneer bariatric surgeon that made great contributions to our field.

On behalf of the Bariatric Times editorial team, we wish all of our readers a happy holiday season. We wish you a great finish for 2014 and a better start in 2015.


Raul J. Rosenthal, MD, FACS, Clinical Editor, Bariatric Times; Interim Chief of Staff, Professor of Surgery and Chairman, Department of General Surgery; Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery and The Bariatric and Metabolic Institute; General Surgery Residency Program Director; and Director, Fellowship in MIS and Bariatric Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston, Florida

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Category: Editorial Message, Past Articles

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