A gastric balloon [ also known as intragastric balloon] is a non-surgical and non-pharmaceutical tool used in the treatment of obesity. The gastric balloon system is made up of a soft, expandable balloon, a placement tube, and a filling system. The deflated balloon is inserted orally and moved into the stomach, where it is then filled with saline. Once filled, it floats freely in the stomach, limiting the amount of food needed for a person to feel full. Along with a supervised diet, the gastric balloon can is an effecive weight loss procedure that helps people with obesity. The balloon is temporary andis usually removed after six months to a year.
The gastric balloon may be a suitable option for those with body mass index (BMI) of 27 to 35 or more, but it is particularly useful for patients who are considered too overweight to undergo vital surgery. (For a body mass index much higher than 35, bariatric surgery is more effective, but weight loss is necessary to reduce risks of more invasive surgery that requires the use of general anesthesia.) Losing weight is also effective in managing medical conditions associated with obesity, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Your doctor will make a decision which procedure is most appropriate for you, depending on your weight, your general health, any other medical conditions you have, and your ultimate goal for your health/weight.
-Gastric balloon does not require surgery
-They are relatively easy to place.
-It is effective in long term weight loss when used in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise regimen
-Patients will feel that they eat less
-Acid reflux is common. Prilosec or other anti-reflux medications are often prescribed to help with this
-Nausea and vomiting are very common during the first few days.
-Vomiting after eating for the first few weeks is not uncommon.
-Stomach cramps are common.
-Difficulty sleeping may occur. Sleep disturbances may be related to an uncomfortable stomach or acid reflux while laying down.
The intragastric balloon procedure is done in the endoscopy unit as an outpatient procedure. You will be sedated for the procedure. During the procedure, the doctor advances a thin tube (catheter) loaded with the intragastric balloon down your throat into your stomach. Next, the doctor advances an endoscope — a flexible tube with a camera attached — down your throat into your stomach. The camera allows your doctor to see the balloon as he or she fills it with saline.T he procedure lasts approximately 30 mutes. You can normally go home one to two hours after the procedure is finished.
If you're going to have an intragastric balloon placed in your stomach, your health care team will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your procedure. You may need to have various lab tests and exams before your procedure. You may need to restrict what you eat and drink, as well as which medications you take, in the time leading up to the procedure. You may also be required to start a physical activity program.
You can have small amounts of clear liquids starting about six hours after the procedure. The liquid diet generally continues until the start of the second week, when you can start eating soft foods. You'll probably be able to start eating regular food around three weeks after the insertion of the intragastric balloon. Intragastric balloons are left in place for up to 6 months and are then removed using an endoscope. At that time, a new balloon may be placed, or not, depending on the plan determined by you and your doctor. You'll also meet with members of your medical team, such as your nutritionist and psychologist, frequently after your procedure.
Pain and nausea affect about one-third of people soon after insertion of an intragastric balloon. However, these symptoms usually only last for a few days after balloon placement. These symptoms can usually be managed with oral medications at home. Although rare, serious side effects may occur after intragastric balloon placement. Call your doctor immediately if nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain occur any time after surgery. A potential risk includes balloon deflation. If the balloon deflates, there's also a risk that it could move through your digestive system. This can cause a blockage that may require an additional procedure or surgery to remove the device. Other possible risks include over inflation, acute pancreatitis, ulcers or a hole (perforation) in the stomach wall, which might require surgery to fix.
Will I be able to feel the balloon in my stomach?
Some discomfort during the first few days after the procedure is common, however this should dissipate if you follow the portion size recommendations provided by your doctor and dietitian. You may be able to feel the balloon when you palpate (gently press down) your stomach.
Is there a chance that the balloon will deflate? If so what do I do?
At the time of insertion, your doctor will fill the balloon with a coloured dye called methlyene blue. This will help you clearly identify deflation or leakage early on, as it will change the colour of your urine to green or blue. Should this occur you must notify the clinic immediately to have the balloon removed within 48 hrs.
How is the balloon removed afterwards?
The gastric balloon is removed in the same way it was placed, via the esophagus and mouth using an endoscopic camera. Your doctor introduces a catheter (tube) through the mouth and into the stomach, attaching it to the balloon for deflation. Once the balloon is deflated it can be grasped and removed through the esophagus and mouth.
How long will I need to have the balloon remain in my stomach?
Gastric balloon are usually placed in the stomach for 6 months to 12 months. Should your doctor recommend use of the balloon for longer periods, it is necessary that the balloon be replaced with a new one at the six or 12 month interval.