Weight-Loss Balloon Has Americans Crossing the Border

The weight-loss balloon is swallowed then inflated in stomach to create full feeling.
3:00 | 03/12/14

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Transcript for Weight-Loss Balloon Has Americans Crossing the Border
Back now at 7:43 with that weight loss pill and claims it can help you lose 20 pounds in a few months without surgery. It's not fda approved in the U.S. But it's not stopping Americans from going to Mexico to get it. ABC's Cecilia Vega with the story. Reporter: Science fiction, this is not. Inside that tiny capsule, what's called the world's first swallowable weight loss balloon. Yes, you swallow a balloon. Here's how the company says it works. The vitamin-sized pill is attached to a thin tube. Down the hatch it goes chased by a glass of water. With an x-ray a doctor locations the capsule then uses the tube to inflate it with gas. The tube gets pulled out and voila, there is a balloon floating in your stomach. Doctor, I was hungry and I'm not hungry anymore. Reporter: Doctors insert up to three balloons for up to four months at a time until they're removed with the patient sedated. The goal, feel fuller faster and eat less. The pill's maker claims they've helped people slif off more than 0 pounds. The catch, for now this procedure is own hi available in Europe and Mexico. And just over San Diego's border is where Dr. Ariel Ortiz has performed more than 100 of them. The candidates are patients overweight or obese. Especially the overweight category will benefit from this and usually talking about 30, 40, 50 pounds. Reporter: Obalon's maker told ABC news while all medical devices and drugs have risks, the balloons are designed and extensively tested to not prematurely rupture. That could lead to intestinal blockage. It's not a permanent fix, they're really meant to be temporary. Reporter: This little pill comes with a massive price tag. An average of $4,000 a pop. For "Good morning America," Cecilia Vega, ABC news, los Angeles.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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