Gastric Balloon

Gastric Balloon

Gastric Balloon: A New Way to Lose Weight!

  • Painless, scarless, non-surgical solution to lose weight
  • No drugs, no injections
  • The usual weight loss is over 24 kg within a year
  • Safe and effective weight loss procedure popular in Thailand and other countries

A gastric balloon is a more recent style of weight-loss procedure. 

A saline-filled silicone balloon is positioned in your stomach, which helps you reduce weight by limiting the amount of food you can eat. Additionally, it makes you feel full quicker.

This procedure is an alternative if you are overweight or obese, and exercise and diet haven't worked for you.

Just like other weight-loss procedures, an intragastric balloon demands commitment to a healthier lifestyle. It is critical to make long-term healthy changes to your lifestyle to help guarantee the long lasting results of the intragastric balloon procedure.

Why it's performed

The use of an intragastric balloon makes it possible for you to lose weight. Losing weight will reduce your chance of acquiring life-threatening weight-related medical problems, like:

  • Cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • sleep apnea
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes

A gastric balloon, like any other weight-loss procedures, are usually performed only after you have made an effort to lose weight by working on your diet and exercise habits.

Who it's for 

This weight loss procedure can be an alternative for you if:

  • Your BMI (body mass index) is between 30 and 50.
  • You're prepared to commit to a healthy lifestyle change and regular medical follow-up
  • You have no history of stomach or esophageal surgery.

This procedure is not suitable for anyone who is overweight. A medical screening will help your doctor determine if the procedure may be good for you.

Which Patients cannot qualify for the Gastric Balloon?

Gastric balloons is not to be used on female patients who are pregnant. If pregnancy occurs after the balloon has been inserted, the physician has to remove it immediately since it may affect both the mother and the fetus as well. Also, patients having esophageal and gastric disorders such as gastric ulcer, severe gastroesophageal reflux disease or those who have had gastric and esophageal banding before, haemophilic patients or those taking anti-thrombotic medications, patients with other serious illnesses such as severe congenital illnesses or ischemic heart diseases(IHD) and others, cannot get a balloon insertion.  

Risks

As much as one-third of patients experience pain and nausea right after the insertion of the balloon. But these symptoms generally last for only a few days after the balloon is placed in your stomach. And they can be treated with oral meds.

Serious problems after gastric balloon insertion and removal rarely occur. There is a very small chance that the balloon could deflate. If it does, there's another risk it could move through your digestive system which may cause blockage and may require another procedure.

Additional potential risks include ulcers or a perforation (hole) in the stomach that will need surgery to fix.

Before the Procedure

Your physician will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. You will be required to undergo several lab tests and exams before the procedure. 

You may have to limit what you eat and drink in the time leading to the procedure.

In addition, it is recommended that you start a physical activity program.

Gastric Balloon Insertion

In the course of the procedure, the doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) pre-loaded with the gastric balloon down your throat into your stomach. Then the doctor inserts and endoscope (a flexible tube with a camera attached) down your throat into your stomach. The tiny camera enables your doctor to see the balloon as he/she fills it with saline.

The procedure requires approximately 30 minutes. 

After the Procedure

After the balloon is inserted, you may experience some abdominal pain, abdominal distension, nausea and vomiting. You may have to take antacids and anti-emetics to prevent gastric ulcers.
However, there can be some rare post-procedure symptoms such as gastrointestinal bleeding, excessive vomiting leading to esophageal fracture and gastric or intestinal obstruction.

Recovery

After the procedure, you will need to stay in the hospital for 1-2 days for careful monitoring.

Your nurse will observe you closely for abdominal distention, nausea and vomiting. Occurrence of rare symptoms will be reported to your doctor immediately.

Once your condition improves, your nutritionist will explain to you your new dietary plan. Because the balloon takes up space in your stomach, a little amount of food will make you full faster than you normally would. At this stage, it is recommended to eat food that is easily absorbed by the stomach like milk, fruit juice, and soup.

At first, your body will be adjusting to the balloon. After 3 months you will lose around 10% of your original body weight. Your eating habits and new lifestyle may change after 
9 months and may result in a long term lifestyle change. You are required to see your doctor once a month for follow-up.

At this point, you are able to resume your daily activities except those requiring rapid changes in pressure like scuba diving, football and kickboxing. You are allowed to travel by plane because the pressure on the plane gradually adjusts and will not affect the balloon.

Your physician, nutritionist and behavioral modification specialist will monitor your lifestyle changes like your daily diet, exercise and activities. You will be able to consult by Hot line which is open 24 hours.

After 6 months you will visit your physician for balloon adjustments. In addition, your doctor will check for abnormal symptoms like rapid weight loss which may cause hepatitis or myositis.

Rapid weight loss therefore, is not a desired result. If you are experiencing any other symptoms, inform your doctor immediately.

After one year, your physician will release the saline from the balloon and use an endoscope to remove the empty balloon from the stomach.

Post Procedure Diet

The right food and amount of food is an integral part of losing weight. The following is the recommended diet for intra-gastric balloon patients:

Additional suggestions

  • Patients should not consume food in large amounts in each meal.
  • Chew food thoroughly.
  • Patients should not eat excessively hot or too cold food.
  • Patients should not do other activities e.g. watching TV while eating. 
  • Do not take carbonated drinks.
  • Drink at least 10 glasses of water per day.
  • Monitor unusual symptoms. If patients feel abdominal pain or other unusual symptoms, he/she should stop eating that particular food immediately.
  • Suggest having 3 regular meals on time. It is prohibited to allow the patient to fast and go hungry for a long time. 

For several years, the gastric balloon has been used as a procedure for weight loss and is accepted in many countries. This procedure is simple, safe and effective. After 1 year, patients with the gastric balloon will notice the changes for the better, lose weight and be in good shape and good health.  Gastric balloon is one alternative in the management of obesity and for people who would like to lose weight. Gastric balloon insertion should be done in a hospital setting with a specialist in gastric balloon insertion and a professional team with expertise on this procedure.

Take the first step and contact us through our no-cost virtual consultation. During this process, we will recommend options that will work best for you. Every client is different, so our virtual consultants and surgeons tailor the procedure to match each person’s needs.

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