Italian doctors use an alternative to gastric bypass surgery: a rubber balloon is inserted into the stomach during a 20-minute procedure.
This is a simple and less-invasive way to fight obesity than surgery but the weight loss is often temporary.
The method also has its skeptics. Dr. Schreiber, director of the Cleveland Center for Bariatric Surgery at St. Vincent Charity Hospital, says that the procedure was used in the U.S. 15 years ago but the weight loss was negligible and there were too many complications.
Stomach balloons can help in weight battle. Jan. 30, 2006. MSNBC.
Stomach balloons are latest tool to help obese patients lose weight. February 05, 2006. The Plain Dealer.
Europeans Find Extra Options for Staying Slim. January 3, 2006. The New York Times
Image source: Stomach diagram, Wikipedia.