We talk to the experts at Apollo Endosurgery about how gastric balloons can help you lose weight, what the procedure entails and how it can improve your overall health.
A gastric balloon is a soft yet durable silicone balloon that is designed to assist adult patients with obesity, in losing and maintaining weight. It is intended for adult patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) 27 and greater who have attempted more conservative weight reduction alternatives. It is an incision-less, non-surgical solution for patients who are not appropriate for or considering invasive surgery, but for whom diet & exercise or pharmaceutical interventions have not worked.
For many, the weight loss journey leaves patients with little support or options in the gap between diet & exercise and surgery. Clinical data has shown the extent to which gastric balloons can help you lose weight; it has been found that the average person can lose 3.1 times more weight compared with diet and exercise alone within six months. The balloon is designed to fill space in a patient’s stomach to reinforce proper portion control.
In a non-surgical, endoscopic procedure typically done under a mild sedative, the thin and deflated balloon is placed into the stomach. It is then filled with saline until it’s about the size of a grapefruit. The procedure normally takes about 20-30 minutes and people can generally go home the same day.
Once the balloon is in place, the 12-month coaching program begins. After six months, the balloon is removed in the same way it was placed. Through a non-surgical, endoscopic procedure done under a mild sedative, it is deflated and then removed.
Post-procedure lifestyle changes
Usually to receive this form of treatment you must be willing to also follow a 12-month program, beginning with the placement of the gastric balloon and continuing for 6 months after, that includes a healthy diet and exercise plan. If the diet and exercise program is not followed, you will not experience significant weight loss results; in fact, you may not experience any weight loss. Although gastric balloons can help you lose weight, keeping it off is not easy so you will be supervised throughout this program by a team of physicians, psychologists, physiologists, and nutritionists. This team will help you make and maintain major changes in your eating and exercise habits.
How gastric balloons compare to other weight-loss options
There are various weight loss procedures that one can opt for, these include: the LAP Band (also known as the gastric band), gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy (also known as the gastric sleeve). The main difference between these various options is whether they are invasive or non-invasive in their method. The risks that accompany the more invasive surgical options—the gastric band, gastric bypass and gastric sleeve—are as follows: infections, blood clots and internal bleeding.
Complications that may result from gastric balloon procedures include the risks associated with any endoscopic procedure (and those associated with the medications and methods used in this procedure); as well as your ability to tolerate a foreign object placed in your stomach. The procedure can also very occasionally see instances of the balloon deflating or leaking, this will usually be indicated through abdominal pains In this instance the balloon will need to be removed as quickly as possible. It is undeniable that each of these methods will effectively help you lose weight, however these factors and risks should all be carefully considered before you make your decision.
Things to keep in mind
Some patients are ineligible to receive such a procedure—your doctor will ask you about your medical history and will also perform a physical examination to determine your eligibility for the device. Additionally, at the time of placement, the doctor may identify internal factors, such as stomach irritation or ulcers, which may prevent you from receiving the gastric balloon treatment. You are not eligible if you are pregnant, a woman planning to become pregnant within six months’ time or breast-feeding.
We’d like to thank the experts at Apollo Endosurgery for their assistance with this article. Apollo Endosurgery is revolutionising patient care with minimally invasive therapies such as the LAP-BAND, Orbera® and OverStitch Endoscopic Suturing System. Orbera® intragastric balloon is an ideal solution for those who have struggled to lose weight after trying various methods and are fearful of harsh surgery. Orbera® is the number one global market leader for gastric balloons with more than 220,000 being distributed worldwide in over 80 countries. Additionally the Orbera® Managed Weight Loss Program is unique in it’s methods; it doesn’t involve surgery, a diet pill and isn’t just a stand-alone diet. To find out more about Orbera®, its important safety information and how gastric balloons can help you lose weight, visit their website: orbera.com/uk-ireland
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