All about the Intragastric Balloon Procedure

Gastric balloons are created in order to stop people from feeling hungry. Additionally, it will make them feel much fuller with lower amounts of food and these feelings of fullness last longer as well. Gastric balloon surgery, or intragastric balloon surgery, is a popular type of weight loss surgery. It is minimally invasive, but highly effective. Different brands of balloons exist, so it is important that you do your research and speak to a specialist before deciding which method is best for you.

During a gastric balloon procedure, a soft balloon will be inserted in the stomach. This is done through the mouth, using a flexible, thin telescope known as an ‘endoscope’. Once in place, a surgeon will fill the balloon up with saline, thereby partially filling your stomach. As a result, there will not be enough space of much more drink or food. This procedure is supposed to be a temporary one, lasting for just six months. It is often given to people who need to lose significant amounts of weight so that they can be eligible for a gastric bypass or lap band.

About the Procedure

When you are fitted with a gastric balloon, you will be slightly sedated. The procedure itself takes around half an hour and is a minor procedure. However, your stomach will find it very strange to have a balloon inserted into it. While you can generally go home the same day, some surgeons prefer to keep you in overnight just in case.

Some people find that the balloon is so uncomfortable, they cannot keep it in place for six months. This means that it must be removed sooner. In most cases, this will happen within the first few days of having the balloon fitted. Vomiting and nausea are common side effects, but if these do not abate, then it may be necessary to have the balloon removed.

It is of vital importance to find a surgeon that you trust and feel comfortable with if you want to have a gastric balloon inserted. You should have had a number of consultations with this surgeon, where it will have been determined whether or not the balloon is the right solution for you. Additionally, they will have had discussions with you in terms of preparing you for the procedure, what to expect in terms of the procedure itself and the results, and next steps. In almost all cases, the balloon is used as a step to build up to full surgery, but some people find that they are able to lose so much weight with the balloon that they no longer need the surgery. However, it is best to not expect these results, or you may find yourself disappointed.

You must also feel that you are in safe hands with your surgeon. While the gastric balloon is non-surgical, meaning that there is no incision in your body, it is still an impressive procedure and with any medical procedure, there is a chance that something will go wrong.

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