What is gastric balloon system?
The gastric balloon system is a new non-surgical weight loss procedure. It involves the insertion of a special balloon inside the stomach to occupy space and limit the food-carrying capacity of the stomach.
Am I a candidate for the gastric balloon system?
The gastric balloon is indicated in the following patients:
- BMI 30-40 kg/m2
- Unable to lose weight after exercises and diet
- Are willing to participate in a medically-supervised lifestyle and behavior modification program
The weight loss system is contraindicated in the following patients:
- Have previously undergone bariatric surgery
- Are suffering from inflammatory diseases of the GI tract, large hiatal hernia, structural abnormalities in the pharynx or esophagus, and are prone to upper GI bleeding
- Allergic to materials used during the procedure
- Alcoholics or drug abusers
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
How is the gastric balloon inserted?
The gastric balloon is installed through a simple minimally invasive method on an outpatient setting. The procedure is performed under sedation. A deflated gastric balloon is guided down your throat into your stomach with the help of an endoscope, a narrow lighted tube with a camera attached. Once in place, the balloon is inflated with saline. The endoscope is gentle removed and the balloon is left in place for 6 months. The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete after which you will be able to go home.
The removal of the gastric balloon after 6 months follows a similar procedure, where the balloon is first deflated and retracted under sedation.
How does the gastric balloon help in weight loss?
When diets, exercises and medications do not help in losing weight, restrictive and malabsorptive procedures are used where the amount of food intake or the amount of food digested is controlled, respectively. The gastric balloon system works on the restrictive principle of weight loss. When the balloon is inserted into the stomach and inflated, it occupies considerable amount of space and reduces the amount of food that the stomach can hold during a meal. This makes you feel full sooner and limits your meals to small intakes. With time, your body gets accustomed to the reduced food intake.
The gastric balloon is a temporary device that is removed after 6 months and followed by healthy lifestyle changes in diet and exercises. With the help of a multidisciplinary team of gastroenterologist and nutritionist, this will help you in your long-term goal of losing weight.
How much weight can I lose with the gastric balloon?
Patients have been able to lose 10 to 15% of their weight within the first six months of installation and up to 29% following lifestyle and behavioral modifications thereafter. Apart from this, the procedure also helps improve weight-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and heart diseases.