The gastric balloon is an inflatable balloon that is placed into the stomach temporarily. By reducing the available space in the stomach, patients feel full after having eaten less food. In addition, the balloon results in delayed emptying of the stomach, allowing for longer periods between meals. Weight loss is achieved by restricting daily caloric intake because of patient fullness. This is a great option to compliment a weight loss program or lifestyle changes to result in long term weight loss. Many patients who are not good candidates for surgery may choose this option. The procedure is an out-patient procedure, with patients leaving the clinic the same day of the procedure. The balloon is inserted by gastroscopy through the mouth under general anaesthesia, with no need to operate the stomach in any way. Patients may return to work within a few days after the procedure.
The patient should expect to lose approx. 32% of extra weight, or an average of 14 – 18kg, with the help of the balloon. The balloon is only temporarily inserted, and must be removed after 6 months.
- No surgery
- Effective aid to weight loss with diet and exercise
- Fullness sensation
- Non-permanent procedure
- 20-30% may not reach an ideal body weight
- Need for 2 gastroscopies under general anaesthesia or sedation
- Possible weight regain after removal
- Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting (immediately after procedure)
- Continued vomiting may result in dehydration, low potassium
- Spontaneous deflation of balloon may result in acid reflux, ulcer, esophageal or gastric inflammation, bowel obstruction or perforation (rare) and pancreatitis (rare)
- Mortality, 0.05% in preliminary studies (extremely rare)