A gastric balloon is a recent non-invasive weight loss treatment that is an option for individuals who are overweight or obese, and for whom diet and exercise is not an option which is working. It is a non-surgical weight loss treatment which consists of a saline-filled silicone balloon being placed inside the stomach of the patient. This is effective in helping one lose weight as it limits food consumption.
The procedure of this bariatric surgery is as follows: it takes place in the endoscopy unit as an outpatient procedure. Then, the patient is sedated for the purpose of the procedure. In the procedure, the doctor places a thin tube (catheter) filled with the intragastric balloon down the the throat of the stomach of the patient. Then, an endoscope (a flexible tube with a camera attached) is placed down the stomach too. Through the camera, the doctor can see the balloon while it is filled up with saline. This weight loss surgery takes place for the period of around half an hour, and one can usually go back home a few hours after its completion. After the balloon has been inserted, one will need to be on a liquid diet till the start of the second week. One can begin eating regular food around three weeks after the insertion of the balloon. The intragastric balloon is left in place for around 6 months, after which it is removed through the use of an endoscope.
The following side effects are a possibility: Pain and nausea can take place soon after the insertion of an intragastric balloon, however, this usually lasts for the period of just a few days and can easily be treated with the use of oral medication. It is also possible for the intragastric balloon to deflate and then move through one’s digestive system, causing a blockage over there. This will require a further procedure in order to be dealt with in an appropriate manner. Lastly, one can end up with ulcers or a hole (perforation) in their stomach which will need surgery to be treated.
Gastric bypass procedures are usually the alternative in comparison to a gastric balloon procedure. In this, a portion of the stomach is stapled which leaves just a small pouch of the stomach remaining for food to be consumed in. For greater convenience, a mini gastric bypass surgery can take place too which usually lasts for a period of just around thirty minutes or so. Furthermore, there are other non-surgical weight loss treatments and non-invasive procedures which can be considered as well, such as an Endsocopic Sleeve Gastroplasty. Thus, given the risks associated with a gastric balloon procedure, one should evaluate all of their options and decide accordingly. Additionally, if you are going to have an intragastric balloon placed in your stomach, then your doctor shall be providing you with specific instructions regarding how to prepare for it accordingly. You might need to participate in various lab tests and exams beforehand, take certain medications, and restrict what you eat and drink as well.
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