HOW DOES A GASTRIC BALLOON WORK?
Similar to a band it restricts the amount of food eaten by occupying the space inside the stomach. It is a melon sized balloon which is inserted by endoscopy into the stomach and filled with fluid. It can be left internally for 6 months to 1 year and then removed endoscopically following this period of time.
As depicted in the video above, gastric balloon insertion is an endoscopic procedure. Firstly an endoscope is passed through the gullet into the stomach to check that there are no medical contraindications such as severe inflammation or a large hiatus hernia. The deflated balloon is then passed through and inflated with liquid coloured with blue dye. A final check with an endoscope is done prior to detaching the balloon to lie free within the stomach.
PROCEDURE SAFETY ( Complication and Side Effects)
- This is a simple, non-invasive procedure which carries the same risks of an endoscopy (bleeding/perforation) and can be performed under sedation without the need for an anaesthetic.
- There is a rare risk of balloon rupture, which would lead to the blue dye escaping and colouring urine blue/green. If this occurs, the ruptured balloon is removed endoscopically, as failure to do so may lead to bowel obstruction.
- Other risks of a balloon include inflammation of the gullet, ulcers, pancreatitis and failure to lose weight or weight regain.
- It is not uncommon to feel slightly nauseous in the first few days post-insertion.
Gastric Balloon Package
- Gastric balloon surgery cost from £3950
- Includes insertion and removal
- Includes 6 month follow up with surgeon and dietician
The balloon most commonly used is the Allergan Orbera™ System which is designed to remain within the stomach for 6 months after which it has to be removed. It is a very good option for those motivated to return to their usual dietary and exercise patterns prior to their weight gain. It is also used as a staged approach for individuals with a high BMI to allow weight loss and a reduction of their risk prior to considering a more permanent weight loss operation.
Because of the space occupying effect within the stomach, it is very difficult to have any solids in the first 1-2 weeks following surgery. Liquid however is very important, and individuals are encouraged to drink copious amounts of fluid only for the first few days following insertion.
Is a gastric balloon right for me ?
A gastric balloon is recommended for patients who want a non-surgical treatment option for weight loss, The gastric balloon procedure is usually suitable for BMI of 27 to 35 .
Your weight loss surgeon will discuss the best weight loss option for your individual circumstances looking at your BMI and your medical history.