1515 - Endoscopic placement and removal of an intra-gastric balloon (IGB) for the management of overweight and obesity in a high-risk patient

Page last updated: 06 November 2019

Application Detail



Description of Medical Service

The intra-gastric balloon (IGB) system is designed to assist weight loss by partially filling the stomach and inducing satiety. The balloon is placed in the stomach endoscopically and then filled with saline, causing it to expand into a spherical shape. The filled balloon is designed to act as an artificial bezoar and move freely within the stomach. The maximum placement period for the intra-gastric balloon is 6 months, and it must be removed at that time or earlier. This submission is focused on evidence pertaining to Orbera™, but the MBS item codes requested are not restricted to a particular IGB device.

Description of Medical Condition

Obesity is a worldwide epidemic; obesity is defined as BMI > 3035 kg/m2. This application focuses on the population with a BMI≥30< 35 kg/m2 accompanied with other major medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes (with the key focus being on patients with uncontrolled diabetes). The life expectancy of this group of obese adult is 2-4 years lower than those with normal weight (ANPHA, PSC 2009).

Obesity is a complex chronic disease with genetic, environmental, physiological and behavioural determinants that requires long-term care. In 2014-15, 63.4% of Australians aged 18 years were above normal weight, with 27.9% being obese (ABS cat 4364.0.55.001). It is estimated that ≈15% of Australians have a BMI≥30< 35 kg/m2 (see Table 1). Obesity is often associated with a broad range of complications including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dyslipidaemia, sleep apnoea, osteoarthritis, and specific cancers, which significantly impair quality of life. The total burden of disease due to obesity, as reported in the Medibank Obesity Report, was $37.7 billion in 2008-09. The latest Price Waterhouse Coopers report estimated the downstream effects of obesity on other health care costs, productivity etc., in 2014-15 to be at $8.6 billion.

Reason for Application

New MBS item

Medical Service Type


Previous Application Number

Not Applicable

Associated Documentation

Application Form

Application Form (PDF 2066 KB)
Application Form (Word 558 KB)

Consultation Survey

Consultation Survey (PDF 478 KB)
Consultation Survey (Word 57 KB)

PICO Confirmation


Assessment Report


Public Summary Document

Public Summary Document (PDF 1531 KB)
Public Summary Document (Word 528 KB)

Meetings for this Application


9 August 2018


13 June 2019


1-2 August 2019