About Gastric Balloon
Introduction to Gastric Balloon
An alternative to surgery, strict diets, and weight loss pills.
Intragastric balloon (or gastric balloon) is a weight-loss device procedure in which a water filled stomach balloon or a gas-filled balloon is temporarily placed in the stomach. The aim of this procedure is to assist in the process of weight loss by making a person feel fuller more quickly and by limiting the amount of food that can be consumed.
A comprehensive, two-part programme begins with a soft balloon placed in your stomach for six months to encourage portion control. Our support team of BMI experts will help guide you through the process.
After six months, the balloon will be removed and the support team will continue to guide you in making healthy lifestyle choices for another six months. Lifestyle coaching is essential to help you overcome the challenges of retraining your appetite, adopting new nutritional habits, establishing a reasonable exercise routine, and ultimately meeting your long-term weight loss goals.
In combination with a 12-month weight loss programme and lifestyle changes, the gastric balloon is designed to kick-start weight loss. The gastric balloon is the ideal solution for those who want to lose excess weight but do not want to undergo permanent surgical solutions.
Intragastric balloon is not a permanent weight loss solution, but an assistive device for those who have unsuccessfully tried to lose weight through diet and exercise and other lifestyle changes. Commitment to healthy lifestyle changes, behavioural therapy and regular medical follow-up is essential.
INDICATIONS FOR A GASTRIC BALLOON
Weight loss balloons may be indicated for patients who:
- Are moderately overweight and unable to achieve a desired weight loss goal through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes alone
- Wish to lose a minimum of 15-20 kg and are ineligible for or uncomfortable with other weight loss surgeries
- Have a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 40
- Are willing to participate in a medically supervised diet with behavior modification and regular follow-up
THIS MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR THE FOLLOWING PATIENTS:
Gastric balloons are not suitable for all patients, including those with these conditions:
- Have previously undergone bariatric surgery
- An unwillingness to adhere to diet, exercise and behavior modification therapy
- Hiatal hernia greater than five centimeters
- Blood coagulation disorder
- Potential bleeding lesion of the upper GI tract
- Allergy to materials used during the procedure
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- Are suffering from inflammatory diseases of the GI tract, large hiatal hernia, structural abnormalities in the pharynx or esophagus, and are prone to upper GI bleeding
- Uncontrolled psychiatric disorder(s), especially eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, binge eating, compulsive overeating and high liquid calorie intake habits
- Severe liver disease
- Conditions requiring medications on specified hourly intervals, such as anti-seizure or anti-arrhythmic medications
- Pregnant or trying to become pregnant
Types of Gastric Balloons
The FDA has approved two types of gastric balloons, using either one, two or three balloons. The single balloon system is done under light anesthesia.
HOW DOES THE STOMACH BALLOON WORK?
- The placement of the gastric balloon is carried out as an outpatient procedure.
- The procedure is performed endoscopically under sedation. The deflated gastric balloon is attached to an endoscope, a narrow lighted tube with a camera attached, which is guided through your mouth and into the stomach. Once in proper position, your doctor inflates the balloon with saline and a dye, or gas to the desirable size. While the endoscope is removed, the balloon is retained in the stomach. The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete. You will be able to leave the hospital soon after.
- The balloon is temporarily left in the stomach for about 6 months, following which it is removed. The removal of the gastric balloon is also performed under sedation.
Research has shown that intragastric balloons are generally safe and show significant short-term weight loss. A total body weight loss of about 8 to 15 percent is expected in the six months after gastric balloon insertion. Behavioral therapy in conjunction with endoscopic bariatric therapy is necessary for optimal weight loss.
If the recommended lifestyle changes are not followed, weight loss may not occur. Worse, weight gain may occur if permanent diet and physical activity changes are not implemented.
The intragastric balloon also holds great promise in improving conditions related to obesity. With significant weight loss, other related conditions often improve, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
- Heart disease
- Type II diabetes
Long-term benefits of gastric balloons for obese and morbidly obese patients, as well as long-term device safety, requires more research and time at this point.
Though serious risks are rare with a gastric balloon procedure, there are always risks associated with any surgery. Deflation of the balloon and its possible movement through the digestive system causing a blockage of the intestines is one serious risk. Ulcers or a perforation (hole) in the stomach are also risks and may require further surgery.
Risks and Complications
The Gastric balloon procedure is generally safe but as with any procedure complications may occur and can include:
- Esophageal or gastric ulcers or perforation
- Deflation of the balloon which can lead to blockage.
- Should the balloon rupture, the dye if used, will be released in the urine and you can notify your doctor immediately.
Recovery from the procedure
There are very few side effects associated with the gastric balloon. Pain, nausea and vomiting are common in about a third of patients, but these symptoms last only a few days and may respond to medication. With the single balloon surgery, patients can expect to go back to work after about three days.
Life After Gastric Balloon
The intragastric balloon is designed to simulate the feeling of fullness, with the idea that the patient will then eat less. About six hours after the procedure, small amounts of liquid are permitted. An all-liquid diet is continued for a week, and soft foods may be added starting in the second week after surgery.
Gastric balloon placement requires regular follow-up visits to monitor progress. The patient’s commitment to lifestyle changes is also required for the success of this procedure.
Behavior modification may include:
- Becoming more physically active
- Seeing a registered dietician
- Keeping a food diary
- Eating small portions of healthy foods
- Participating in an intensive lifestyle therapy program
Our Comprehensive Program
At VIGOS hospital, we often receive feedback from patients that our weight loss program is thorough and comprehensive. Our patients feel informed as they prepare for surgery, and they are supported afterward.
We will help you navigate life after surgery and make healthy choices for optimal weight loss results. Our weight loss professional team will work with you personally to develop meal plans, answer questions and provide moral support.
You are never alone on your weight loss journey. There is always a friendly face to offer helpful information and encouragement.