Intragastric balloons help people lose weight by taking up space in the stomach and acting as an integrated portion control system. They’re a temporary, noninvasive therapy that necessitates considerable dietary adjustments and can improve health, including fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and lower blood pressure.
The ORBERA gastric balloon is inserted through a quick, nonsurgical endoscopic outpatient procedure. Patients go home the same day.
How Does It Work?
An intragastric balloon is an easy-to-use, nonsurgical treatment for obesity. The soft silicon balloon is temporarily inserted into your stomach to partially fill it so you feel full after eating small amounts of food. It helps reduce hunger and serves as a stepping stone for long-term weight loss success.
No cuts or stitches are used during this minimally invasive operation under anesthesia. A tiny tube called an endoscope is placed into your mouth and is used to push an uninflated balloon into your stomach expertly. After that, a sterile saline solution is used to inflate it. It takes up to 30 minutes.
Once your stomach has adjusted to the balloon, you can gradually progress from liquids to pureed foods to a soft diet. During this time, you will remain in close contact with your weight loss team, including a nutritionist and personal trainer. It will ensure that you follow a healthy and effective diet, allowing you to achieve maximum results.
After six months of working with your weight loss team, you can have the balloon removed through a quick and nonsurgical outpatient endoscopic procedure. Once the balloon is removed, it will degrade and be excreted naturally. The weight loss will also continue as you stick to a healthy diet without the help of an implanted device. Many patients notice a marked improvement in obesity-related problems such as high blood pressure, joint discomfort, and sleep apnea.
How Long Does It Last?
Intragastric balloons are placed in a quick, nonsurgical outpatient procedure. You are sedated, and the balloon is inserted into your stomach through your mouth or esophagus. Once the balloon is in place, it’s inflated with a sterile saline solution. It occupies space in your stomach, encouraging satiety and aiding in weight loss.
You’ll spend a few hours in the hospital and are usually discharged on the same day. You may have some pain or discomfort in the first few days. Over-the-counter pain medications should help. You’ll start with a clear liquid diet which can be advanced to a soft food diet within a few weeks. It’s essential to drink lots of water. It will keep your stomach hydrated and wash away any food debris that could get stuck on the balloon.
After a few months, you can eat most foods but must chew well and take four to five small meals daily. Some foods, such as bread or pasta, can stick to the balloon and cause foul odors or belching. It’s essential to drink a glass of water after every meal.
A gastric balloon can stay in place for up to nine months. It’s used as a bridge to weight loss surgery for people who don’t qualify for an operation due to obesity or because it is too risky for their health.
What Are the Side Effects?
It’s essential to know about the side effects that could occur during this procedure. It will help you be prepared for anything that may happen so you can deal with it as quickly as possible.
You’ll be given a sedative and topical anesthetic to prevent pain or discomfort during the procedure. The doctor will then advance a thin tube loaded with the balloon through your mouth and down your throat. Once it’s in place, the balloon is filled with saline and then expanded to the size of a grapefruit. The procedure takes about a half-hour, and patients are typically discharged on the same day.
You’ll likely experience some pain in the first few days as your stomach adjusts to the presence of the balloon. You can minimize these symptoms by following your dietary guidelines and contacting your physician.
Other common side effects include feeling your stomach bloated, which is normal and caused by the balloon taking up space in the stomach. You may also experience nausea or vomiting, limited to the first few weeks.
In rare cases, the balloon can rupture, migrate into the bowel or cause other complications. If you experience any of these issues, contact your physician immediately. They can instruct you on how to manage your symptoms and will determine if additional treatments are needed.
How Can I Lose Weight With An Intragastric Balloon?
A gastric balloon is a temporary, nonsurgical weight loss tool. It helps you lose weight by taking up space in your stomach so that you eat less. It’s part of a comprehensive, two-part weight loss program that includes nutrition and behavioral counseling.
You can return home the same day because the operation only takes 20 to 30 minutes and is performed while you are sedated. Before you leave, the team will ensure you’re tolerating the balloon well. You’ll need to follow a liquid diet for the first six months after your procedure and then transition to a pureed diet followed by a soft diet until you can resume eating a regular, nutritious diet.
Type 2 diabetes and heart disease are two illnesses that can develop due to obesity. Weight loss with a gastric balloon can help reduce these risk factors by improving your eating habits and encouraging physical activity. These changes can lead to a healthier life and longer-term weight loss, improving obesity-related diseases such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and dyslipidemia.
The Orbera balloon remains in your stomach for six months before it is deflated and removed, which is a noninvasive procedure requiring no surgery or incisions. Afterward, you’ll continue to lose weight by eating smaller meals and learning to recognize the sensation of being full.