5 Things You Need To Know About Gastric Balloon Procedures
A gastric balloon (sometimes called an intragastric balloon) is a reversible, non-surgical weight-loss procedure that can be helpful to severely obese patients wanting to jump-start weight loss, or for those who do not have quite the BMI required for weight-loss surgery.
What do you need to know?
1) How does the gastric balloon procedure work?
The doctor inserts a deflated soft silicone gastric balloon into your stomach through your mouth. The balloon is then filled with a saline solution or with air, which means that your stomach can hold less food (due to the space taken up by the gastric balloon). The result is that you will feel fuller more quickly and you’ll eat less. The gastric balloon can be left in place for up to six months – it’s not a permanent solution and your stomach will return to normal after it’s removed.
2) Am I a candidate for a gastric balloon?
The gastric balloon procedure isn’t for everybody, but you may be a candidate for it if:
- You need to lose some weight before an upcoming event
- Your BMI is 27 or higher (weight-loss surgery normally requires a BMI of 40 or higher)
- You are severely obese and your doctor has deemed that surgery might be risky; the gastric balloon can jump-start your weight loss and make surgery safer.
3) What will happen during the gastric balloon procedure?
You’ll be given a general anaesthesia for the gastric balloon procedure, so you don’t need to worry about how it will feel. It generally takes less than half an hour to perform. Your surgeon numbs your throat and inserts the gastric balloon using endoscopic instruments. The gastric balloon has a small catheter attached to it and your surgeon will use it to fill the balloon with liquid or air, finally removing the catheter; the balloon is self-sealing. You may be able to go home the same day as your gastric balloon procedure.
4) How will my life change after a gastric balloon procedure?
As with any weight-loss procedure, the gastric balloon procedure isn’t a magic bullet. You will need to follow a diet. You will need to exercise. It’s important that you learn how to eat correctly so that you can continue to do so after the gastric balloon is removed.
5) How much weight will I lose after my gastric balloon procedure?
Your weight loss depends upon how well you follow the diet you’ll have been given. In general, you may see a loss of 35 percent of your excess body weight – a good way to start a lifelong programme of healthy eating!