NHS hopes for balloon-in-a-pill weight reduction remedy at Hampshire clinic

A new weight loss pill – a capsule containing an inflatable gastric balloon – could soon be available from the NHS.

For those whose obesity poses a health risk, surgery to attach a gastric band or balloon may be available, but waiting lists are long and treatments can be invasive.

A private clinic in Winchester is pioneering a £4,000 treatment in which the patient swallows a capsule containing a gastric balloon that is inflated once it reaches the stomach.

The treatment — the only one of its kind currently approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) — is designed to make patients feel full, so they theoretically eat less.

Allurion, the company behind it, says it is in talks with several NHS trusts about rolling out the treatment.

NHS England said this type of treatment was not mandated nationally so would be a decision for each local area.

For weight loss interventions according to the NHS, certain criteria must be met, including a high body mass index (BMI) and an increased risk of diabetes.

Video by Ben Moore

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