What is the Gastric Balloon procedure?
Gastric Ballooning (Stomach Balloon) is a non-surgical weight loss procedure which involves the insertion of a durable, elastic, high-quality triple-layered silicone balloon into the stomach. The balloon is inserted with an endoscope into the stomach through the throat and then filled with a sterile liquid solution. The gastric ballooning procedure takes only about 15 minutes.
Gastric ballooning works by making the stomach feel like it is full after only a small amount of food is eaten. The stomach balloon is too big to move in the intestines and the oesophagus and remains in the stomach, making it feel smaller. The stomach balloon is left in place for up to 6 months, after which it is removed and may be replaced.
What are the requirements to be a suitable candidate for gastric balloon surgery?
- You need to be 18 years of age or older.
- You need to be free of any medical or psychological reasons that would prevent us carrying out the procedure.
- You need to have been unable to lose any significant amount of weight after trying all other conventional methods of weight loss, such as exercise and diet.
- You need to understand that after the gastric balloon has been removed you have to continue to reduce your food intake and maintain a regular exercise regime.
What are the benefits of a gastric balloon compared to other bariatric surgeries?
- It is fully reversible: your stomach returns to normal when the gastric balloon is removed.
- There is no cutting or stapling of the stomach.
- No recovery involved. Although it may take some time to adjust you should be able to resume normal life right away.
- You do not need to stay overnight in hospital and can usually go home an hour after.
- No malabsorption issues (because no intestines are bypassed).
- Fewer threatening complications.
Are there any complications?
After the balloon 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.