The balloon is introduced into the stomach through the mouth without the need for surgery (new weight loss balloon that can be swallowed in a capsule). The balloon uses advanced materials specifically designed to meet the rigors of the gastric environment. Once in place, the balloon is filled with a saline or with gas and partially fills the stomach, helping a person to feel less hungry, so that they may consume smaller portions of food and experience similar satisfaction to what they would have previously experienced after consuming a larger meal.
Placement of the balloon takes approximately 10-20 minutes (depends on balloon type), after which patients are monitored by nursing staff in the recovery bay. As this is a "day-only" procedure, patients are generally discharged home within two hours after balloon insertion.
The intragastric balloon is designed to assist with weight loss in people who ideally have 10 to 30 kilograms of weight to lose. The minimum BMI is for individuals with a BMI of 27 and greater.
It is also used for people who are not suitable for other forms of weight loss surgery. The use of the gastric balloon may assist in reducing weight prior to surgery, therefore reducing the risks associated with surgical procedures on overweight patients.
Advantages of gastric balloon:
- easy to place;
- usually well tolerated;
- short treatment period. Gastric balloon can be placed in the stomach for a 3-6 month period;
- easy to remove: low profile design and advanced materials make endoscopic removal fast and easy. No special tools are required.
Risks and side effects:
- It is very likely that the presence of the balloon in the stomach will cause nausea or vomiting for a few days after placement, the intensity of which can vary.
- The balloon might deflate and pass into the small bowel, where it could cause an obstruction. If this happened it would require surgical removal.
- Gastric balloons can also cause gastric ulcers and injury to the stomach or oesophagus.
- Complications could include reflux, indigestion, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and bloating.
- There exists the possibility that you will lose only a small amount of weight.
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