A New, Non-Surgical Option for Weight Loss

03/30/22
Jaime Ponce, MD, bariatric surgeon and medical director of CHI Memorial Metabolic and Bariatric Care

Jaime Ponce, MD, bariatric surgeon and medical director of CHI Memorial Metabolic and Bariatric Care


When it comes to effective, long-term weight loss, it’s important to have options that help you meet and sustain your goals. CHI Memorial Metabolic and Bariatric Care is excited to offer the latest treatment option to promote fullness and aid with non-surgical weight loss. The FDA has approved a superabsorbent hydrogel in a capsule that lets patients eat the foods they love, but less of them. It’s another tool to help people with a body mass index of 25-40 who are struggling to lose weight feel fuller longer. It’s been shown to help people lose up to 10% of their body weight. In a clinical study, nearly 60% of responders lost 22 pounds on average, which was at least 5% of their body weight. 

How does it work? 

The capsules is not a medication. This is a digestible/non-harmful product that’s made from two naturally derived building blocks – cellulose (found in fruits and vegetables) and citric acid (naturally found in citrus fruits). The capsules are taken 20 minutes before lunch and dinner with 16 ounces of water. The pills settle in the stomach and expand with a gelatin-like consistency and occupy approximately one-fourth of the average stomach volume. The cellulose and citric acid is expelled through the natural digestive process, helping people eat less food and lose weight. It’s a great supplement for portion control, habit change around eating less, and for individuals who do not want to use prescription medications.  

For this treatment to be most effective, it’s important to combine it with a reduced calorie diet and 30 minutes of daily physical activity. Most people see a significant weight loss at four weeks. The cost is $98/month which comes down to $1.75 per meal, and it is not covered by insurance. 

What are the risks? 

The capsules are non-habit forming, and there’s no restriction on how long they can be used. The overall incidence of side effects was no different than placebo. The most common side effects were diarrhea, distended abdomen, infrequent bowel movements, and flatulence. 

How do you know if this treatment is right for you?

Every person has different challenges and goals when it comes to weight loss. That’s why it’s important to talk with weight management specialist who can help you understand our options and determine an approach that’s best for you. To learn more about this FDA-cleared weight management aid, call (423) 899-1000 to schedule a consultation at CHI Memorial Metabolic and Bariatric Care today. 

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