The intragastric balloon system is a less-invasive, non-surgical procedure that is performed in an outpatient setting. Some of the benefits of the system when compared to other bariatric procedures include:
The gastric balloon helps achieve weight loss without the need for surgery. It is an outpatient procedure that requires only mild sedation, no external incisions and no changes to the structure of the stomach. This, in comparison with bariatric surgeries that require general anesthesia, skin incisions and changes to the stomach’s anatomy, helps avoid associated complications of infection, wound healing, postoperative confusion, and leaks from the staples or band. In addition, your discharge from the hospital and recovery is faster.
Gastric balloon is also indicated for those who are not good candidates for surgery, and sometimes, before bariatric surgery in order to reduce some amount of weight so that you are fit for an invasive surgery.
The gastric balloon works by limiting the holding capacity of the stomach, and thereby makes you feel full faster, controlling your portions. Because of this, no special diet is required; you can enjoy all types of food. In addition, since the balloon does not interfere with the nutrition intake, no supplements are required like the bariatric surgeries that alter the process of digestion. It also instils healthy eating habits as your body gets trained to be satisfied with smaller portions of food. This helps achieve long-term weight loss goals as you continue to eat less even after the balloon is removed.
Being a noninvasive method of weight loss, the gastric balloon is relatively safe. It is associated with a very low risk of minor complications such as gastric ulcers and erosions.
Studies have shown that gastric balloon can result in weight loss of about 10 to 15% within 6 months of balloon placement, and up to 29% of extra weight following behavioral therapy. Apart from this, it helps resolve or improve weight-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and severe sleep apnea. Achieving all these benefits and making the most of the procedure is based on a combined effort of you and your entire care team, and considering this as a long-term goal for a healthy living.