I realize I'm replying to a somewhat old post, but I couldn't let this go without a response.
Yes the gastric balloon is expensive, but the "ineffective waste of time" is not accurate at all.
Like any weight loss or weight maintenance routine, you will be more successful if you put in effort. There is no magic wand that will allow you to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, in whatever quantity you want, forego exercise, and maintain a perfect physique. That just doesn't exist.
The gastric balloon can be extremely helpful as a part of an overall program, especially if you need to lose a lot of weight fairly quickly (such as someone who has limited exercise options due to injury).
You will be SIGNIFICANTLY more successful with a gastric balloon if you combine it with behavioral analysis (understand why you have the dietary habits you do and learn to have better habits), nutrition/dietitian guidance, and exercise.
While there are a small number of people who don't tolerate the balloon well and should have it removed early in the process, the majority of people who use it in conjunction with appropriate medical and behavioral insight will be successful.
This is true of EVERY weight loss procedure and product on the market.