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A gastric balloon is a new weight-loss method. It is not one of the invasive weight loss methods. Your doctor places a silicone balloon in your stomach and fills it with saline water. As a result, it restricts the amount of food you can eat. Also, you start to feel full faster while eating, and the fullness lasts longer. Thus, it is possible to lose weight without invasive surgery. The gastric balloon is also called the “intragastric balloon.”
Sometimes, diet and exercise may not be beneficial for weight loss. In this case, the gastric balloon may mean getting rid of excess weight if you’re determined to live a healthier and more active life. Otherwise, the procedure makes it easy to regain your lost weight. Remember, this need for dedication applies to all bariatric procedures. It is entirely up to you to permanently change your life and achieve a healthy life.
You can trust that the Istanbul Med Assist team possesses all the essential resources to assist you in achieving your weight loss objectives through the gastric balloon procedure.
Why is gastric balloon done?
A gastric balloon is a good option to lose excess weight when you cannot get rid of it in other ways. Thanks to this procedure, you reduce the possibility of your excess weight causing any health problems in the future. As you know, being overweight can cause many diseases, such as reflux, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.
This weight loss procedure is suitable for patients with a body mass index of 30-40. It is a much better alternative to invasive bariatric surgery for excess weight patients. In addition, to be eligible for the procedure, you must have exhausted your diet and exercise options. If you have not tried to lose weight, your doctor may not consider you suitable for the procedure.
You must be ready to improve your life. It would be best if you did not neglect behavior therapy and regular doctor check-ups. In addition, you must not have had esophageal or any stomach surgery before. Not everyone with excess weight is suitable for this procedure. After a detailed examination, your doctor will decide whether you are suitable for the gastric balloon. It is not a proper procedure for those under the age of 18. Pregnancy is also a contraindication for this procedure.
There are two types of gastric balloons to choose from:
- Orbera: A single balloon filled with saline solution. After your doctor places the balloon in your stomach, they fill it with saline water.
- Obalon: It consists of 3 separate balloons placed at different times. The doctor inflates these balloons with gas.
Which balloon to use is entirely up to you. It would be best if you made your decision by discussing it in detail with your doctors.
How do you prepare for a gastric balloon?
Although you are deemed suitable for the gastric balloon procedure, your doctor will inform you how to prepare for the operation. Moreover, do not forget you will undergo many laboratory tests and examinations before the operation.
Your doctor will limit the foods you eat, drink, and medications you take. Besides that, it will give you exercises to do on the day of the procedure.
Before gastric balloon
Your doctor will ask you not to drink anything for 6 hours before the procedure and not to eat anything 12 hours before. If you don’t want to experience nausea after the procedure, you’d better follow these instructions. Depending on the type of balloon you choose, your doctor will use a sedative or mild anesthetic.
You should arrange for someone to drive you home after the operation.
Before the procedure, take anti-nausea and anti-reflux medications. Because when you return home after the procedure, you may need these medications.
Your doctor inserts the gastric balloon orally using the endoscopic method. It does this in an outpatient setting using sedatives.
Next, the doctor uses a thin tube to place the gastric balloon down your throat and into your stomach. Then, your doctor descends into your stomach with a camera, again endoscopically. That way, your doctor can see everything while filling the balloon with saline.
The operation takes about half an hour. If there are no problems, you can return home 2 hours after the procedure.
After gastric balloon
After the balloon is in place, it is normal to feel some discomfort. Note that this may take several days or weeks. Again, always call your doctor for any discomfort you think is abnormal.
6 hours after the procedure, you can start taking liquid food. But it would be best if you kept the amounts small. You can switch to soft foods only after 1 week. You can start normal foods approximately 3 weeks after the balloon is placed.
A gastric balloon stays in your stomach for 6 to 12 months and is removed from your stomach by an endoscopic way. Then, depending on your situation, your doctor may insert a new balloon. In addition, remember that you will need nutritional and psychiatric specialist help after the procedure.
What are the risks?
Pain and nausea may occur. In this case, however, you don't have to worry because everything will be over in just a few days. Symptoms disappear a few days after gastric balloon placement. In addition, you can relieve nausea and pain at home with medications that can be taken orally. More severe symptoms are less common after a gastric balloon procedure.
There is a small risk that your balloon will deflate. If this happens, it can no longer function and move back and forth in your digestive system. In this case, an additional operation must be performed to remove the balloon.
You will start to eat much less food because the gastric balloon causes you to feel full faster while eating. Moreover, It will also reduce your body’s emptying time. So the feeling of fullness lasts longer. In addition, the level of your appetite hormone secretion will also decrease.
The amount of weight you will lose depends on your determination and effort. If you do your diet and exercise regularly and don’t give up, you will reach the weight you want.
6 months after the procedure, you can expect to lose 7%-15% of your weight. Losing up to 30-47% of your excess weight is possible.
In conclusion, the gastric balloon method is a hassle-free way to lose weight for people who do not have serious obesity problems. The low risk of complications and the short recovery period have made this method very attractive.