What Is Gastric Balloon?
Gastric balloon is a non-surgical weight loss procedure that involves placing a balloon inside the stomach to help individuals feel full and eat less food. The procedure is minimally invasive and can be performed in a short time under sedation or anaesthesia. It is designed to provide short-term weight loss solutions for individuals who are struggling with obesity and want to achieve a healthier weight.
Gastric balloons have been around for over 30 years, and they have helped many people in their weight loss journeys. The balloons are made of soft and durable materials and are inserted into the stomach through the mouth, using an endoscope. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, which means that patients can go home the same day without having to stay in the hospital overnight.
What Benefits Do Gastric Balloon Offer?
One of the key benefits of gastric balloon is that it is a non-surgical option for weight loss. Unlike other weight loss procedures, such as gastric bypass or lap-band surgery, gastric balloons do not involve any incisions, cuts, or scars. This means that the recovery time is much shorter and patients can return to their normal activities much sooner.
Another benefit of gastric balloons is that they are a flexible option for weight loss. The balloons are designed to be adjusted to accommodate changes in the individual’s weight, and they can be removed at any time if necessary. This allows individuals to continue with their weight loss journey, even if they experience setbacks or complications along the way.
How Can Gastric Balloon Help Individuals?
One of the primary goals of gastric balloon is to help individuals reduce their food intake, which in turn leads to weight loss. The balloon takes up space in the stomach, making the individual feel full after eating less food. This helps to reduce the amount of calories that are consumed and can lead to significant weight loss over time.
The weight loss results from gastric balloons can vary, but most individuals can expect to lose between 20 and 50 pounds over the course of 6 months. This weight loss can be maintained by following a healthy diet and exercise program. The balloons are not a permanent solution for weight loss, but they can provide a significant jumpstart for individuals who are struggling to achieve their weight loss goals.
Who Can Have Gastric Balloon Surgery?
It’s important to note that gastric balloons are not for everyone. They are typically recommended for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or for those who have a BMI between 27 and 30 and are struggling with obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Gastric balloons are also not recommended for individuals who are pregnant, have gastrointestinal problems, or have certain medical conditions that make the procedure dangerous. It is important to discuss your health history and weight loss goals with a qualified healthcare provider to determine if gastric balloons are right for you.
How Is Gastric Balloon Operated?
Gastric balloon surgery, also known as endoscopic intragastric balloon placement, is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed under sedation or anaesthesia. The procedure involves the following steps:
Before the procedure, the patient will undergo a medical evaluation to determine if they are a suitable candidate for gastric balloon surgery. This may include blood tests, an EKG, and a consultation with a gastroenterologist.
On the day of the procedure, the patient will be given a mild sedative to help them relax and minimize any discomfort.
The balloon is inserted into the stomach through the mouth, using an endoscope. The endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a camera attached to the end. The balloon is then inflated with a sterile solution, such as saline, to take up space in the stomach.
The balloon is positioned in the upper part of the stomach, where it can help the patient feel full after eating smaller portions of food.
After 6 months, the balloon is deflated and removed through the mouth using the endoscope.
The entire procedure usually takes less than an hour and is performed on an outpatient basis, which means that patients can go home the same day without having to stay in the hospital overnight.
It’s important to note that patients will need to follow a strict diet and exercise regimen after the procedure to ensure the best weight loss results. They will also need to attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor their progress and ensure that the balloon is functioning properly.
Gastric Balloon Recovery
The recovery process after gastric balloon surgery is usually quick and straightforward. Most patients are able to return to their normal activities within a few days, although it’s important to follow a few guidelines to ensure a smooth recovery. The following are some of the steps involved in the recovery process:
After the procedure, patients may experience some discomfort or pain in the abdominal area. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help manage any pain or discomfort.
Patients will need to follow a strict, low-calorie diet for the first few weeks after the procedure. This will allow the stomach to adjust to the new sensation of fullness and prevent any discomfort or nausea.
Patients should avoid strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting or exercise, for the first few days after the procedure. Gentle activities, such as walking, can be resumed soon after the procedure.
Patients will need to attend regular follow-up appointments with their healthcare provider to monitor their progress and ensure that the balloon is functioning properly.
Gastric balloons are not a permanent solution for weight loss, and patients will need to make lifestyle changes, such as following a healthy diet and exercise program, to maintain their weight loss results.
It’s important to follow the guidelines provided by your healthcare provider and to seek medical attention if you experience any complications, such as severe pain or nausea, during the recovery process. The recovery process after gastric balloon surgery is typically quick and straightforward, and most patients are able to return to their normal activities within a few days.
Gastric balloons are a safe and effective option for individuals who are struggling with obesity and want to achieve a healthier weight. The procedure is non-surgical, minimally invasive, and provides short-term weight loss results. By taking up space in the stomach, gastric balloons can help individuals reduce their food intake and lead to significant weight loss over time. If you are considering gastric balloons for weight loss, it is important to discuss your health history and goals with a qualified healthcare provider to determine if this option is right for you.