What is Gastric Balloon?
Gastric balloon is a non-surgical weight-loss procedure that involves placing a saline-filled silicone balloon in patient’s stomach. The purpose of the procedure is to create a feeling of satiety in the stomach, hence limiting the amount that can be eaten. Gastric balloon gives the patient a sense of a half-full stomach, which prevents over-eating and reduces the amount of food the patient can or wants to eat and helps you achieve your long-term weight loss goals. The gastric balloon is very popular due to its effectiveness and has the advantage of not requiring surgery. It is ideal for patients who are not suitable for undergoing surgery since morbid obesity creates additional risks for surgical operations.
The balloon is removed after 6 months and patients are expected to lose %20-25 of their bodyweight in that time. If the desired weight is not obtained after removing the gastric balloon, an operative method such as gastric sleeve or bypass may be preferred.
Patients suitable for Gastric Balloon operation
• Patients with 40+ BMI and patients between 35-40 BMI who could not tolerate a surgical operation due to health problems.
• Patients who have reservations about surgery.
• Patients who need to reduce their BMI before Gastric Sleeve/Bypass surgery to reduce risks caused by morbid obesity.
• Emergency situations requiring rapid weight loss.
• Conditions requiring temporary obesity treatment.
How is the balloon placed into the stomach?
Gastric balloons are inserted orally via endoscopy.The doctor advances a thin tube (catheter) filled with a soft, deflated balloon through the patient’s throat towards the stomach. The camera attaches to the catheter, allowing the doctor to see while filling the balloon with saline. After the balloon is placed in your stomach, it is filled with a blue liquid through the filling tube (catheter) attached to the balloon and the process is completed. The balloon begins to float freely in the stomach. The process takes about half an hour. The procedure is done under sedation. The patient can go home one to two hours after the procedure is over.
What are the advantages of Gastric Balloon?
• Less invasive, non-surgical and does not require the patient to stay at the hospital overnight.
• Affordable compared to other obesity surgeries
• Less complications compared to other invasive surgeries
• Can be performed on patients with any BMI
• The procedure is temporary; it can be removed at any time
What are the disadvantages of Gastric Balloon?
• Lower percentage of average weight loss
• It requires diet and exercise to be really effective
• It’s possible to regain weight after the balloon has been removed
• Patients may experience nausea, acid reflux, vomiting and other stomach discomforts, for the first few weeks
• Difficulty sleeping may occur
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