Entrevista con el Dr. Jeff Brooks, Director Ejecutivo e inventor del Balón Spatz

Jeff Pat picture

P: ¿Qué le llevó a inventar este nuevo balón intragástrico, cuando sabemos que los balones existen desde hace más de veinte años?

A:I’m the sort of person that fixes things, improves them. I identify the shortcomings and I fix them.


P: Entonces, ¿en qué se diferencia el Spatz3? ¿Cómo aborda estas deficiencias que menciona?

A: We saw that balloons were in the stomach for a maximum of six months, which is not enough time to change  eating habits, which is our main goal at Spatz. Secondly, between 10% to 20% of patients are intolerant to balloons. Third and most important, we could clearly see in studies that balloons lose their effect after 3 to 4 months.


P: So how is the Spatz 3 different? How does it address these shortcomings you mentioned?

R: Quería desarrollar un balón que sea más robusto, de mejor calidad y que pueda permanecer en el estómago de un paciente durante un periodo prolongado.

Second, I wanted to make an adjustable balloon whose size and volume can be optimized to the patients needs. So for those 10% to 20% of unfortunate patients that need to have the balloon removed because of intolerance, I wanted to be able to save them from early extractions by making the balloon smaller if needed. For those that needed more weight loss, we designed  the balloon so that it could also be increased in size.


Q: How is Spatz capable of changing people’s attitude towards food?

A: I have had the privilege of managing over a thousand patients with balloons and trained hundreds of doctors from all over the world.This led us to the understanding that losing weight is just not enough, Thinking like a person with a healthy lifestyle is a good start for attitude change. We need to think positively and to takes steps away from our previous habits. The balloon gives not only the time.

but the tools to help ignite those positive thoughts towards change of eating habits. Our approach is, “Eat, but register it”. We call that approach “Owning it”.


P: ¿Y cómo ayuda el balón a “dominar la comida”?

A: The balloon will remind people about their eating habits. The  goal is to register the signals in the brain, and count it! if you count it, you own it.

La idea es estar consciente de su estado nutricional, al igual que usted sabe su estado financiero.


P: ¿Qué podría hacer que un tratamiento con balón no tenga éxito?

A: La actitud del paciente es clave. Tienen que entender lo que hacen los balones.

El balón no impide que la gente coma. Ocupa espacio y hace que la comida permanezca más tiempo en el estómago, y le sigue recordando cómo comió durante la semana anterior, algo que generalmente queremos ignorar.

The objective is to connect the brain with the stomach. That creates awareness, that perhaps wasn’t there before.


Q: What’s the typical profile of patient that would demand for a balloon treatment?

A: patients that repeatedly fail diet and exercise plans. Patients with BMI over 27 are eligible for an intragastric balloons treatment. Some countries like  US require candidates over 30 BMI.

There are patients that are better candidates for bariatric surgery,. Their  BMI is typically over 40. In my personal experience it is too difficult for those individuals to change their eating habits.


Gracias por su tiempo Dr. Brooks.

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