What is gastric balloon?

Gastric balloon, also called intragastric balloon, is a non-surgical weight-loss device that can be placed within a very short time.

It is a soft silicone balloon that is temporarily placed into your stomach and thus, you will feel full more quickly after you eat a smaller serving. It offers an effective solution and acts like a kind of springboard to have patients start life style changes and make new decisions. Sometimes, it may help preoperative weight loss to a certain degree and be used to support in the preoperative preparations or it may also be considered, when BMI score of the patient is not high enough to require surgery.

How does a gastric balloon work?

Gastric balloon fills in a certain volume of your stomach and thus, you will fell satiated earlier. Since you will eat less, you will lose weight. Soft foods, deserts or high-calorie liquids will not help your target. Therefore, you should follow the program that aims to teach you the healthy eating under supervision of a dietician.

You will be contended with less food and it will also help you gain a healthier life style.  When the gastric balloon is removed, you can resume your new life style and eating habit. You should strictly follow a supervised gastric balloon diet and comply to your new life style both when the gastric balloon is placed and after it is removed.

Advantages of a gastric balloon include gaining new long-term eating habits and being a non-surgical irreversible weight loss option. Weight loss may also help the health problems that are linked to the obesity, such as Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Is Gastric Balloon a good option for me?

Gastric balloon can be recommended for following conditions:

-It is necessary to lose a certain amount of weight before the operation in order to decrease risks of surgery in super-obese people.

-You seek a non-surgical treatment option for the weight loss.

- Your BMI ranges from 27 to 25 and you are ready to make long-term changes in your life style under supervision of a doctor and a dietician, provided you visit your doctor and dietician at regular intervals.

However, you need to know that weight loss by gastric balloon will be lesser and more slowly relative to surgical weight loss options.

How is this procedure performed?

A gastric balloon procedure takes only 15 minute. Sedative agent or anesthetic agent is administered in the endoscopy room.

Your surgeon will insert the endoscopy into your mouth cavity and advance it into your stomach, if there is no barrier; a deflated gastric balloon will be placed into your stomach. Next, the balloon will be inflated by sterile saline + methylene blue that is instilled through a small tube (catheter) connected to the balloon. The content of the gastric balloon is drained again with endoscopic method about six to months later and it is removed with endoscopic technique.

After Procedure

Patients can be discharged to home and resume usual activities of daily life on the day of the gastric balloon placement.

You will need to eat only liquid foods for several days after the gastric balloon is placed. Next, you will switch to soft foods followed by usual solid foods.

Your obesity surgeon or dietician will inform you about the necessary diet and exercise changes that you need to follow to reach and maintain weight loss targets. It is very important to follow these advices meticulously.

It is very important maintain eating habits and life style you learned recently in order to maintain the your healthy weight after the gastric balloon is removed.

You need to present for follow-up visits at regular intervals, including diet counseling and planning.


Complications and side effects

You may suffer from certain complaints, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and reflux, but they will usually persist only for 3 to 5 days. If you recognize such complaints, you may contact your surgeon any time for support and management.

Perforation of balloon is a very rare condition. Even if it perforates, the condition is characterized by leak of the inflation fluid and it will not damage the stomach. This non-hazardous blue fluid is absorbed into bloodstream and excreted into urine. Meanwhile, your urine will be blue in color. This sign reminds you that the balloon has perforated. You will need to contact your doctor at this phase. The balloon will be removed with endoscopic technique.

Your obesity surgeon will discuss this issue in detail with you, before a decision is made to have a gastric balloon placed.

Follow-up and support

Since gastric balloon procedure differs from other weight loss surgeries, the convalescence will be shorter.

You should be sure that you are ready and willing to change your eating habits and life style and you are motivated doing so. You need to follow a long-term weight management plan in order to be successful.

We always provide you with specialized support. Moreover, it is valuable to seek support from your family members, spouse, children and friends, when you feel deprived of motivation or slightly low-spirited.

A multidisciplinary team of bariatric surgery contact person, bariatric surgery dietician and psychologist as well as bariatric surgeon will always be ready for specialized medical consultation in Medicana and they will always support you to gain maximum benefit from the gastric balloon procedure. You need to visit them regularly and attend to seminars and group meetings as well as sportive activities and events in order to let them promote and support you.

These meetings are designed to inform patients about life style changes before or after the gastric balloon placement or in selected weight loss procedures. Participants may share their experiences, emotions and concerns, discuss their views frankly and support each other. Our support groups usually provide patients with a new friend network with a joint aim.

Removal of Balloon

We need to remove your gastric balloon about six to ten months later. This procedure is also carried out through your mouth cavity and the complications are again very rare.

You will need a certain care and diet program, after the gastric balloon is removed. You should also visit the team at regular intervals in order to have your progress followed up.

Life after removal

After your gastric balloon is removed, you are expected to maintain your weight loss program and comply to your healthy diet and exercise regimen, as if your gastric balloon was in your stomach. You need to know that the balloon was placed to teach you the serving control.

Cosmetic Surgery following Bariatric Surgery

If you have achieved a substantial weight loss, your skin may sag and a cosmetic surgery may be required to reshape your body contours and complete your weight-loss journey.

We recommend you to balance your weight loss and wait until you reach the target body weight, before you consider this option seriously. This will provide your skin with an opportunity to reduce in size.