ST. CLOUD - A new option is now available in St. Cloud to help you lose weight. CentraCare Weight Management says they're offering the ORBERA intragastric balloon procedure.

It involves inserting a soft balloon into the stomach via the mouth, which stays in place for six months. It is filled with a saline solution until it's about the size of a grapefruit. The entire procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes, and most people go home the same day.

It's considered an alternative to bariatric surgery and is ideal for people with a body mass index between 30 and 40.

The balloon takes up space in the stomach, which encourages portion control. It does not have the side effects that surgery can have.

St. Cloud Hospital is the third hospital in Minnesota to offer the procedure. The other two are the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.