A gastric balloon is a new weight-loss method. It is not one of the invasive weight loss methods. Your doctor places a silicone balloon in your stomach and fills it with saline water. As a result, it restricts the amount of food you can eat. Also, you start to feel full faster while eating and the feeling of fullness lasts longer. Thus, it is possible to lose weight without invasive surgery. The gastric balloon is also called the “intragastric balloon”.
Sometimes, diet and exercise may not be beneficial for weight loss. In this case, the gastric balloon may mean getting rid of your excess weight. If you’re determined to live a healthier and more active life. Otherwise, it’s easy to regain the weight you lost thanks to the procedure. Remember, this need for dedication applies to all bariatric procedures. It is entirely up to you to permanently change your life and achieve a healthy life.
A gastric balloon is a good option for you to lose excess weight that you cannot get rid of in other ways. Thanks to this procedure, you reduce the possibility of your excess weight causing any health problems in the future. As you know, being overweight can invite many different diseases. For example, reflux, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.
The gastric balloon is suitable for patients with a body mass index of 30-40. It is a much better alternative to invasive bariatric surgery for patients who have excess weight. In addition, to be eligible for the procedure, you must have exhausted your diet and exercise options. If you have not made the effort to lose weight, your doctor may not consider you suitable for the procedure.
You must be ready to improve your life. You should not neglect behavior therapy and regular doctor check-ups. In addition, you must not have had esophageal surgery or any stomach surgery before. Not everyone with excess weight is suitable for the gastric balloon procedure. Your doctor will decide whether you are suitable for the gastric balloon after a detailed examination. It is not a suitable procedure for those under the age of 18. Pregnancy is also a contraindication for gastric balloon surgery.
There are two types of gastric balloons to choose from:
Orbera: A single balloon filled with saline solution. After your doctor places the balloon in your stomach, he/she fills it with saline water.
Obalon: It consists of 3 separate balloons placed at different times. The doctor inflates these balloons with gas.
Which balloon to use is entirely up to you. You should make your decision by discussing it in detail with your doctors.
Although you are deemed suitable for the gastric balloon procedure, your doctor will inform you about how to prepare for the operation. Moreover, do not forget that you will undergo many laboratory tests and examinations before the operation.
Your doctor will limit the foods you eat, drink, and medications you take. Besides that, it will give you exercises to do on the day of the procedure.
Your doctor will ask you not to drink anything for 6 hours before the procedure and not to eat anything 12 hours before. If you don’t want to experience nausea after the procedure, you’d better follow these instructions. Depending on the type of balloon you choose, your doctor will use a sedative or mild anesthetic.
You should arrange for someone to drive you home after the operation.
Before the procedure, take anti-nausea and anti-reflux medications. Because when you return home after the procedure, you may need these medications.
Your doctor inserts the gastric balloon orally using the endoscopic method. It does this in an outpatient setting using sedatives.
Next, the doctor uses a thin tube to place the gastric balloon down your throat and into your stomach. Then, your doctor descends into your stomach with a camera, again endoscopically. That way, your doctor can see everything while filling the balloon with saline.
The operation takes about half an hour. If there are no problems, you can return home 2 hours after the procedure.
After the balloon is in place, it is normal to feel some discomfort. Note that this may take several days or weeks. Again, always call your doctor for any discomfort that you think is abnormal.
6 hours after the procedure, you can start taking liquid food. But you should keep the amounts small. You can switch to soft foods only after 1 week. You can start normal foods approximately 3 weeks after the balloon is placed.
A gastric balloon stays in your stomach for 6 to 12 months and is removed from your stomach by endoscopic way. Then, depending on your situation, your doctor may insert a new balloon. In addition, remember that you will need nutritional and psychiatric specialist help after the procedure.
You will start to eat much less food. Because the gastric balloon causes you to feel full faster while eating. What’s more, the gastric balloon will also reduce your body’s emptying time. So the feeling of fullness lasts longer. In addition, the level of your appetite hormone secretion will also decrease.
The amount of weight you will lose depends on your determination and effort. If you do your diet and exercise regularly and don’t give up, you will reach the weight you want.
6 months after the procedure, you can expect to lose 7%-15% of your weight. In total, it is possible to lose up to 30-47% of your excess weight.
In conclusion, the gastric balloon method is a very hassle-free way to lose weight for people who do not have serious obesity problems. The low risk of complications and the short recovery period have made this method very attractive.