Allurion Technologies, a company focused on obesity treatment, said that its Allurion Gastric Balloon for pre-surgical weight loss has been introduced by the Somerset National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust (FT) in the UK.

Allurion Balloon is said to be the world’s only swallowable gastric balloon that needs no surgery, no endoscopy, and no anaesthesia.

When swallowed, the balloon fills and stays in the stomach for around four months before self-emptying and passing out naturally.

Somerset NHS is now said to be the first NHS trust in the UK and the first non-private sector organisation in the world to introduce the weight loss balloon.

The first two patients received the treatment with the balloon at Somerset NHS FT’s Musgrove Park Hospital in November 2023 under the Allurion Program.

Up to 12 more people are set to undergo this treatment, in addition to the three NHS placements that are already scheduled in early February 2024.

The weight loss-focused firm expects that the NHS will save a large amount of time and money as Allurion Balloon treatment is significantly less expensive than bariatric surgery.

The non-invasive balloon can be implanted in a 15-minute doctor’s visit and allows patients end their hospital visit in an hour.

Allurion Technologies founder and CEO Shantanu Gaur said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with the NHS for the first time to deliver the Allurion Program.

“According to the NHS, it is estimated that around one in four (25%) of adults in the UK have obesity, and without scalable, evidence-based weight solutions, I believe the obesity epidemic will continue to worsen.

“Leveraging the Allurion Balloon—which can be swallowed in a simple outpatient visit and typically does not require any procedures for removal—the NHS now has a weight loss solution that does not tap into surgical or endoscopic resources that are already overbooked and constrained.”

According to Allurion Technologies, the balloon demonstrated an average of 10%-15% loss in body weight after approximately four months.

It has been considered a safe and effective way to lose weight in over 30 peer-reviewed global trials.

The weight loss-focused company offers a programme that combines the balloon with the Allurion Virtual Care Suite.