About Gastric Balloon Procedure

gastric balloon bariatric surgeryThe gastric balloon is a temporary but effective method of weight reduction among the various bariatric procedures.

It works by limiting how much you eat through simulating a fuller stomach with through the use of a filled device. It allows you to reach a healthier weight more easily and gives you a boost to take on a better lifestyle.

Using a gastric balloon is completely reversible and it will remain in your stomach for either 6 or 12 months, depending on the type of device used. The balloon is placed endoscopically into your stomach, without requiring surgery.

Find out if this option is right for you.

How it works

The gastric balloon is inserted into your stomach with an endoscope and inflated with a saline solution, filling up a significant portion of it. It creates a sense of a fuller stomach, meaning that you will feel the compulsion to eat less, enabling you to lose weight more easily.

The balloon will remain in your stomach for 6 or 12 months and can be used again after at least 2 months of rest, or as a preparation for other bariatric procedures. To take the most out of this effect, you will need to follow a rigorous diet. The procedure is indicated only when prior attempts at losing weight have not helped.

Characteristics

  • Endoscopically, non-surgically inserted
  • Temporary, 6 or 12 months
  • Can be repeated
  • Can be used as preparation for bariatric surgeries
  • Low risks and complications
  • Does not disrupt digestive processes
  • Smaller weight loss when compared to other options

Who can use it?

In a way, the gastric balloon serves as practice for a new lifestyle. It does not permanently change your body – that will be entirely up to you. However, it will make this choice easier to make through limiting how much food you eat, which is one of the toughest challenges to take on when striving for a healthier outlook.

The procedure is indicated for people with a BMI above 27, also depending on various comorbid conditions. It is not recommended for people with certain intestinal disorders or who need to take medications that might irritate their bowels.

The gastric balloon can also be employed to lower any risks with bariatric surgeries. Certain surgical procedures carry a higher risk when performed on people with a very high body mass, and the balloon can be used to reduce the patient’s weight to more manageable levels before they are used.

This option is best for people who need assistance with losing weight but do not wish to use surgical procedures for it, or who might have too many risks with them.

Life after the procedure

  • Procedure time: up to 1 hour
  • Hospital stay: 1 day
  • Recovery time: 2 weeks
  • Work leave required: 1 week

You will need to limit all your food intake right after the procedure. For the first few days, you can only eat liquid foods. After that, you may start practicing with semi-solids, leading to solid food in a week or two. Throughout the process, you have to settle into a newer, more healthier diet. It will be made significantly easier with a reduced appetite caused by the gastric balloon.

For a few days after the procedure you may feel discomfort with the balloon, but in about a week the stomach will get completely used to it. The only hint of there being something inside of you will be how fast you feel a full stomach during eating. Much like after other bariatric procedures, you will need to be more selective with eating as well, as certain foods can cause discomfort or even sickness.

The standard procedure with using the gastric balloon is also receiving continuous support from your surgeon or bariatric nurse, who will keep an eye out for any complications and offer assistance in maintaining your healthier lifestyle.  

After 6 or 12 months have passed, the balloon will be removed much like it was inserted. It will be initially deflated, then removed with an endoscope. If you and your surgeon find that the process should continue, the balloon can once again be inserted after about 2 months. Depending on how well you have followed your new diet and how much time you need for the process to work, your body will likely be used to the new regime allowing you to start a better and healthier life.

Gastric balloon as a new start

A lot of people need a life-changing boost to improve their health and well-being. It is better if this life-changer is a conscious choice. The gastric balloon can be that choice and it has proven to be effective in not only weight loss but also as a lifestyle change.

The gastric balloon involves fewer risks than any other bariatric procedure but is also milder in the amount of weight you will lose. It can be used as a safer method but it’s effect lies mostly in empowering you to maintain your health on your own after the process is done.

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