The Simple Guide to Gastric Balloon Procedures in 2020

Bariatric surgery is a big ask. It can be extremely expensive, takes months to recover from, and requires an invasive inpatient procedure that is hard to reverse. It’s also only appropriate for the severely obese.
But what if you want a temporary solution? What if you’re looking for a lower-cost solution that has the ability to give you good results? Getting a gastric balloon might be the right choice.

What Is The Gastric Balloon?

The gastric balloon procedure is a nonsurgical intervention for people who want to lose weight. There are several different types of gastric balloon procedures, but they all have the same properties. Gastric balloon procedures are nonsurgical, they are outpatient, they are temporary, and they are reversible.

The purpose of a gastric balloon is to act as an aid to eliminate overeating behaviors and make it easier to lose weight with diet and exercise.
Different brands of gastric balloon treatment work differently. Some brands require multiple applications and may recommend that you leave the balloon in for a longer or shorter period of time.

How Does The Orbera Gastric Balloon Work?

There are several different brands of gastric balloon, including ReShape, Obalon, and Orbera. The Orbera gastric balloon exists as a single balloon that rests in your stomach.
You go to the doctor that is performing the procedure and the doctor uses an endoscope to insert a small capsule attached to a catheter. This capsule goes down to your stomach, and is then inflated with a saline solution, forming a saline-filled balloon in the stomach. This balloon takes up about ⅓ of the stomach’s volume.
This balloon takes up room in your stomach, making you feel more full for longer. It also prevents you from eating so much, as it is filling up space otherwise taken by food.

Recovering From a Gastric Balloon

The recovery from the gastric balloon is a bit different from recovering from bariatric surgery. Recovery doesn’t take very long at all, and side effects are generally mild symptoms like nausea and slight abdominal pain that doesn’t last too long. More severe side effects may occur, and you should let your doctor know about them.
Within less than a week, almost all patients are expected to return to normal activities.

Living With The Gastric Balloon

What patients do while they have the gastric balloon inside them will be the key to their success. Patients are coached on diet and exercise habits that assist in weight loss. They’re also given counseling to help build good eating habits and prevent overeating so that when the balloon is removed, they can continue to lose weight and stay at a healthy weight.
There are very few issues with living with the gastric balloon, except for some mild discomfort every now and then due to the balloon’s presence in the stomach.
After about six months, the balloon is removed, and the patient continues to receive help with diet and exercise so that they’re able to keep the weight off.
What are the gastric balloon weight loss results? A clinical trial done with the Orbera balloon showed patients losing around 22 pounds on average, with the more obese patients losing much more weight. They then maintained the weight loss after the balloon was removed. Although not as dramatic as bariatric surgery, the gastric balloon has proven to be effective in weight loss.

In Summary

● Gastric balloon procedures are a temporary procedure that can help with weight loss. 
● They work by inserting one or more inflatable balloons into the stomach to make patients feel more full and eat less.
● Patients are coached on diet, exercise, and mental health while they have the balloons in them.