Achieving that desired weight loss can become a daunting task for some people. Some obese people struggle to lose weight despite controlling their diet and doing exercise. A non-surgical and temporary solution for morbidly obese individuals struggling with losing weight is a gastric balloon.
A gastric balloon is a saline-filled balloon made of silicon which place inside a person’s stomach in a weight-loss procedure through the mouth. It is also known as an intragastric balloon and helps in losing weight without any invasive treatment.
With the help of an endoscope, a durable but soft balloon is inserted through the mouth in the person’s stomach during the procedure. Then a saline solution is filled into the balloon to inflate it and the balloon takes up room in the stomach. By occupying space, a sensation of having a full stomach is given by the gastric balloon which results in a reduced desire to eat food. This helps in better portion control and management of weight loss is improved when exercise and proper diet are coupled with the balloon placement.
The main purpose of gastric balloon placement is to help individuals undergoing this procedure lose weight. With weight loss, the chances of developing potentially serious illnesses such as stroke, heart diseases, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is also reduced. However, the placement of a gastric balloon is only carried out when an individual has not been able to lose weight by controlling his diet and regular exercise.
Individuals with a body mass index (BMI) between twenty five and forty and without any prior history of weight-loss surgery can qualify for gastric balloon placement. Moreover, individuals should be willing to adopt a healthy lifestyle and also be ready for regular medical check-ups and behavioral therapy. Additionally, individuals willing to lose approximately thirty percent of excess weight are the most suitable candidates for gastric balloon placement. It is not necessary that every obese person can undergo gastric balloon placement. A doctor can only decide after the screening process if the balloon placement will be beneficial for him.
Individuals with a history of gastric surgeries, severe liver disease, bleeding disorders, drug addiction or alcoholism, pregnancy, or trying to conceive are not recommended for gastric balloon placement. Moreover, individuals with inflammatory bowel disease, large hiatal hernia, previous abdominal surgery, chronic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use, and
psychiatric disorders are not good candidates for gastric balloon placement.
Before undergoing the procedure for balloon placement, your healthcare provider may provide you with instructions to prepare for the procedure such as lab tests, restrictions on intake of food and water, and medications. During the procedure, the person is mildly sedated and a thin tube with a balloon at its tip is introduced into the stomach through the mouth. Next, an endoscope having a camera is advanced into the stomach. With the help of the camera, the healthcare provider can keep a look at the balloon as it is filled with saline.
The balloon remains in the stomach for six months or one year and then it is removed.
The biggest advantage of the gastric balloon is that it is a non-invasive procedure that results in rapid weight loss majority of which is lost typically within the first four months of the procedure. People have been able to lose 20 to 25 pounds with 6-month gastric balloon and 35 to 45 pounds with 12-month balloon with this procedure. Following 6 months, fifteen percent and with 12 months, thirty percent of their excess body weight after the placement of the gastric balloon is lost and because the volume of the stomach is reduced by less than half because of the presence of the balloon. When the gastric balloon is removed from the stomach, the individuals need to manage their weight loss for another six or twelve months because adjusting their eating habits and their efforts to remain active can greatly impact their weight loss results. Gastric Balloon placement is an effective but at the safe time usually safe way to aid people in achieving their long-term weight loss goals.