Gastric Balloon Gastric Balloons, otherwise known as intragastric balloons differ somewhat from other weight loss surgery measures, as this procedure is a short-term weight loss tool. The gastric balloon can be in situ for either 6 or 12 months, depending upon how much weight you wish to lose. Generally, a gastric balloon is most suitable for individuals who do not have a particularly high BMI (body mass index) that would necessitate a surgical weight loss procedure, such as a gastric band, sleeve or bypass. In addition to the weight loss that can be achieved, a gastric balloon can also improve other obesity-related comorbidities you may be suffering from, including, sleep apnoea and hypertension.
How does it work? Gastric balloons are small, silicon devices that are inserted into the stomach, the procedure itself is usually done in under 30 minutes and can be done under sedation or local anaesthetic. During the procedure, the balloon is initially inserted using a tube down your throat via an endoscope. This allows Professor Senapati to visualise where exactly the balloon is to be placed. Following this, Professor Senapati would then fill the balloon with sterile saline and this is the substance which inflates the balloon and this will remain inflated for the next 6-12 months. The balloon is designed to take up a certain amount of space within the stomach, in order for smaller amounts of food to be consumed and to ultimately leave patients feeling fuller for longer.
How long is the recovery? As previously mentioned, gastric balloon procedures can be undertaken in under 30 minutes, under sedation or a local anaesthetic. Therefore most patients are able to return home the very same day and carry on with their normal daily activities. For the first few days post-procedure Professor Senapati advises patients to consume liquids only and after this time, patients may then incorporate soft foods for a number of days and then finally after a couple more days, patients can return to solid foods. However, patients must ensure to adopt a healthy diet and exercise regime during the 6 or 12 month course, as once the gastric balloon is removed, your stomach will return to its original size. Therefore, if you have adopted an effective, healthy eating regime during your course, you are much more likely to maintain your new weight loss and continue to achieve favourable results following the removal of your balloon.
What are the risks? Following the insertion of your gastric balloon, some patients may experience some short-term side effects including, nausea and vomiting. One of the main complications of this procedure is balloon rupture, however this is extremely rare. In addition, there can be issues during the insertion or the removal of the gastric balloon, again such issues are rare. Here at Obesity Surgery Manchester, we have many patients who have opted for the Gastric Balloon procedure. If you’d like to find out more about this popular weight loss procedure, visit out website on the link below