Gastric balloon is a non-surgical solution for obesity to help patients with weight loss by reducing the size of the stomach. Weight loss surgeons insert a balloon into the stomach to limit the amount of food that can be eaten and help people loose excess weight if diet and exercise alone have failed.
The procedure to fit a gastric balloon is non-invasive and reversible making it a popular weight loss treatment.
Surgeons insert a balloon into the stomach and inflate the balloon with a saline solution. The balloon limits the capacity of the stomach- reducing the amount of food the stomach holds and helping weight loss. Limiting the size of the stomach is known as restrictive treatment for obesity and is a method recommended by bariatric surgeons for patients who want to initiate weight loss without surgery.
There is no surgery involved in this procedure. Using a camera to guide the surgery, the gastric balloon is deflated and placed inside the stomach via a tube in the throat. Once inside the stomach the tube is used to fill the balloon with a saline solution. This solution expands the balloon and shrinks the size of the stomach.
There is no recovery period from a gastric balloon procedure as it is a non-surgical treatment. Two hours after the balloon procedure patients may leave hospital. The throat may feel tender for 1-2 day after the removal of the camera and tube. Gastric balloons may rupture or be dissolved by the stomach acid. A blue dye will be put inside the balloon so any rupture is noticeable by a change in urine color.
Normally the balloons last for six months before they need replacing. Many patients do not require a replacement balloon as the stomach has shrunk during this period and they are able to maintain their lower weight without treatment.
The results of gastric balloon solutions are seen gradually. The balloon limits the patients ability to overeat, effectually placing patients on an extreme post-surgery diet. Weight loss is slow and consistent so it is easy to maintain long term.
Find a bariatric surgeon offering gastric balloon to learn more about your weight loss options.
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.