Gastric balloon or stomach balloon is a non-surgical treatment for people who are overweight or obese. The balloon is inserted into the stomach through the mouth and this means that after eating a small amount of food, you feel full.
Is gastric balloon suitable for everyone?
No. If you have a particular condition, for example an illness related to your heart or lungs, your GP and surgeon may feel the procedure is too risky to carry out.
You will be given a throat spray that has a numbing effect (you will also be offered a sedative if you wish). Using endoscopic technique a small thin tube is inserted through your mouth down your throat and gullet and a silicone balllon is inserted and filled with saline in your stomach.
This limits the amount of food your stomach can hold. Your food still passes through your digestive system in the normal way.
Am I a candidate for gastric balloon?
You could be if:
- You are 18 years of age or older.
- You have tried all other conventional methods of weight loss, such as exercise and diet, but have failed to lose any significant amount of weight.
- You don’t have any medical or psychological reasons for not carrying out the procedure.
- You understand that after the gastric balloon has been removed you have to continue to reduce your food intake and maintain a regular exercise regime.
More Information on Obesity Surgery
» Obesity surgery FAQ
» Obesity facts
» What is my BMI?
» Are you a candidate for obesity surgery?
» What are the different types of obesity surgery?
» Gastric banding
» Gastric balloon
» What are the risks of obesity surgery?
» How your life will change after weight loss surgery?
What are the benefits of a gastric balloon compared to other bariatric surgeries?
- Fully reversible: stomach returns to normal when gastric balloon is removed.
- No cutting or stapling of the stomach
- No overnight stay in hospital and can usually go home an hour after.
- No recovery involved. Although it may take some time to adjust you should be able to resume normal life right away.
- No malabsorption issues (because no intestines are bypassed)
- Fewer threatening complications
Are there any complications?
After the ballon has been fitted considerable adjustments to your eating habits including smaller portions is something you have to get used to. This is something which patients can find difficult, and weight loss may be less than expected.
What about gastric balloon and pregnancy?
If considering pregnancy, ideally you should be in optimum nutritional condition prior to conception; deflation of the balloon and removal may be required prior to planned conception. Deflation and removal should also be considered should morning sickness be present.
As well as experiencing significant weight loss after gastric balloon, most patients also find an improvement in their emotional health and quality of sleep.
Find out more
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