Gastric Ballon

Gastric balloon also known as intragastric balloon is a surgical operation to help with weight loss. It is conducted by placing a balloon in the stomach of the patient via endoscopy. The balloon is inflated inside the patient’s stomach using water and isotonic sodium chloride solution to partially fill the gap inside the stomach. Gastric balloon sugery helps the patient feels less hunger and reduces overall food intake. Depending on the balloon used in the operation, these balloons can remain in the stomach for 6 months to a year. The goal here is to help the patient build a healthy relationship with food and to help the patient adopt more healthy eating habits.

What are the benefits of Gastric Ballon?

It is beneficial for people whose body mass index (BMI) are 35 or higher, and people aged between 18 and 65. People who have tried diets, exercises and medication to lose weight but could not get desired results can also benefit from this surgery. Patients undergoing this surgery will be monitored under general anaesthesia to ensure there are no risks. It is also crucial that the patient has not had any gastric surgery in the past and that they do not suffer from gastric ulcers. Weight loss can lower your risk of potentially serious weight-related health problems, such as:

• Heart disease or stroke
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease
• High blood pressure
• Obstructive sleep apnea
• Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
• Type 2 diabetes

The process of inserting gastric balloon

Gastric balloon operation does not require a risky procedure and usually takes about 14 to 20 minutes using endoscopy (once the patient is under, a thin pipe is used to view the stomach with an optical camera). Endoscopy can also help determine if a patient is has any gastric related issues. The patient has to be hungry prior to the operation, if the procedure does not require general anaesthesia, the patient is sedated through the mouth.

The silicone balloon inserted into the stomach are usually around 10 cm in size.The process of inflating the balloon begins using 400 to 700 ccs of saline. Once it is decided that the balloon has been fully filled the balloon is closed and sealed. The patient is held under observation for about two hours before being discharged. Since this is not a surgical operation, the patients can go back to their normal daily life after being discharged.

Is gastric balloon permanent?

The balloon is placed inside the patient’s stomach for six months. In some cases, this duration can increase to a year. Once the duration is over, it can easily be removed at a hospital via endoscopy. If the gastric balloon method is used as an additional aid to other methods, it may help the healing process making it more effective. If the patient continues to exercise and follows a healthy diet, they will not regain the weight they have lost. If a healthier lifestyle is adapted more weight can be lost. Although this method is not permanent, it can be transformed into a permanent treatment technique if a healthy nutrition plan is adapted by the patient.
1Is gastric balloon placement a surgery?
Gastric balloon placement is not a surgery. A balloon is placed in the stomach using endoscopic method.
2Are there any side effects of gastric balloon?
Known side effects are vomiting and abdominal pain which may be accompanied by the feeling of nausea, this usually goes away by the third day after the surgery. There are medcations that can help with side effects which will be presribed after the procedure.
3Does the gastric balloon pop or what happens?
Gastric balloon placement does not require surgical operation. The gastric balloon is applied using endoscopy technique and the procedure is expected to help the patient reach the target weight. The balloon is placed with precision thereby reducing the risk of damage to the balloon. Since it is placed in the stomach of the patient through endoscopy. Gastric balloons have a very durable structure and they can withstand the acidic content of the stomach. However, it may carry a very small risk of perforation. If the gastric balloon is punctured, the patient's urine turns into a blue colored liquid which would be visible to the patient. It contains physiological saline, and it is prepared in blue color to make it noticable. When such a situation is encountered, the patient should consults the doctor and the necessary examinations would be made. If the punctured gastric balloon poses any risk, the balloon is removed from the stomach through endoscopy.
4Does gastric balloon affect pregnancy?
Gastric balloon is not a suitable obesity treatment method for pregnant women. Instead of dealing with obesity during pregnancy, obesity should be treated before pregrancy. Gastric balloon is recommended for patients who want to get pregnant but are having problems with excess weight. Being overweight poses many risk during pregnancy and can endanger the health of both the mother and the baby. In cases where diet and exercise have not been effective for weight loss, various treatment methods can be recommended by looking at the body mass index. If the requirement of weight level is met and suitable for gastric balloon or gastric botulinum toxin application, endoscopic method can be applied. The procedure has no adversely effect on pregnancy. On the contrary, it provides the patient a healthier weight before and during pregnacy.
5What are the types of Gastric Balloons? (6 months, 12 months, what are the differences?)
For overweight patients who cannot lose weight with diet and exercise, gastric balloon procedure provides effective way to lose weight within a short time. There are different types of gastric balloons according to liquid fillings, air and volume adjustment. Gastric balloon types are as follows;
• 6 months or 12 months
• Filled with liquid or air
• Silicone
• Fixed or variable volume