The gastric balloon is a safe, effective and minimally invasive solution dedicated to people suffering from advanced obesity – with a BMI (Body Mass Index) above 30. It is a great solution to reduce the volume of the stomach and provide the patient with a feeling of fullness, thus reducing the amount of food consumed by it. By stretching the walls of a stomach, the balloon causes a signal to inhibit the feeling of hunger which reaches the brain.
This solution is recommended for people who cannot achieve the correct body weight despite doing exercises and following diet, and want to avoid bariatric surgery. It is also used in patients who are preparing for major surgery – such as gastric resection and they must first lower their weight for health reasons.
The balloon is made of silicone which is then filled with sterile saline with addition of methylene blue – a dye that allows you to monitor its tightness. In the event of a balloon leak, the patient’s urine will turn green, giving a signal to consult your doctor.
The gastric balloon is placed in the stomach by using endoscopic method – through the mouth. Thanks to this, the procedure does not require any incisions and leaves no scar mark. After placing balloon, it is filled with physiological saline in amount adjusted to the patient (from 400 to 700 ml), and then the endoscopic instruments are removed, leaving the balloon for about half a year. After this time it is removed in the same way. The entire procedure takes approximately 20–30 minutes and is performed with the use of sedatives and painkillers.
The essence of implementation of gastric balloons is to combine the treatment with patient’s education and support of a doctor, as well as a dietitian and psychologist dealing with the treatment of eating disorders.
It is necessary for the person who decided to undergo the procedure, to change their eating habits and attitude towards weight loss. Constant contact with a physician is also important as he monitors the person’s well-being after the procedure and reacts to any potential problems.
After the balloon implementation procedure, it must be taken into account that a few days of feeling discomfort and sensing a foreign body may be possible. The first three days are especially difficult – usually because of nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps occuring. For this reason, it is advisable to rest, not performing any work that requires physical exertion. Drinking plenty of fluids is essential. In case if the symptoms are bothersome, the doctor may recommend the use of appropriate medications. Organism will gradually get used to the new situation, and after a short time the balloon will cease to be perceptible.
The effect of the implementation of the gastric balloon depends on the close cooperation of the patient with the doctor and following any dietitian’s recommendations. Initially, it is necessary to implement a liquid diet, gradually changed into soft and crumbled food, and finally solid. The full effect of the therapy is achieved after balloon’s removal – the average weight loss during this period (6 months) is about 20 kilograms. Usually this is about 30% of body weight. However, it should be emphasized that maintaining the achieved results is dependent on the patient’s involvement in the treatment process.
We cordially invite you to the overweight and obesity treatment clinic, where balloon treatments are performed.
The contraindications to the procedure include: