The gastric balloon system consists of a soft, expandable balloon, a special tube that is used for placing and filling the balloon in the stomach, and a special balloon liquid filler. That construction allows the doctor to place a gastric balloon through the mouth and esophagus of the patient in the stomach and then fill it with sterile saline. After filling the balloon is too large to enter the intestine and will float freely in the stomach.
Who can use a gastric balloon?
The system is designed to help people who weigh at least 40% more than they should and have not managed to get a long-term weight loss using other methods. The gastric balloon may be particularly helpful to people who have to undergo another surgery, important for their health, or life, and who are disqualified because of their weight.
How gastric balloon is placed in the stomach?
Placing a balloon in the stomach does not require surgery, because it is inserted through the mouth. In the initial phase of the surgery, the doctor carried out a preliminary examination of the stomach using the endoscopic probe. If it finds any anomalies, continues the treatment by inserting a balloon through the mouth and esophagus to the stomach. The balloon is made of soft, supple, and flexible silicone material. Is placed in the stomach in the form of the blank when it is small and easy to swallow. The process of swallowing a balloon is further supported by local anesthesia administered. Drugs are also used as muscle relaxants. When the balloon is already in the stomach is filled with sterile saline through a small tube attached to the balloon. After filling the balloon doctor removes the tube gently pulling on its end. The balloon has a self-closing valve, which means that it is tightly closed. Since then, the balloon has floats freely in the stomach. The procedure usually takes between 20 to 30 minutes, after which for a time the patient is under medical supervision, and then allowed to go home, or stay in the clinic for further observation.
Currently, the gastric balloon can be used for 6 months. Longer-term use is not recommended. The passage of time weakens the gastric acidic environment in the material from which the balloon is constructed and can cause rupture of the balloon. If your doctor recommends that you use a balloon for a period longer than 6 months old balloon after 6 months should be replaced. When using a balloon doctor may prescribe a specific set of drugs to lower the acidity of the stomach.
The balloon is removed by the same route, which was placed – through the esophagus and mouth. Before removing the patient is given a muscle relaxant and local anesthetic throat. With the use of the endoscopic probe and a special tube, the doctor pierces the balloon in the stomach, then grabs a balloon and removes it from the patient.
Please note that the gastric balloon in itself does not cause weight loss. It is only through the use of proper diet and changing eating habits. The degree of weight loss is highly dependent on the type of diet and degree of compliance. Keeping the weight achieved after the removal of the balloon depends on the extent to which you might adapt to a new lifestyle, in particular to the new eating habits and attention to physical activity.
It is very likely that the presence of the balloon in the stomach will cause nausea and vomiting during the first few days after its application. Your doctor may prescribe measures to significantly alleviate these symptoms. There is a risk that weight loss while using the balloon will be negligible or nil. Again, it should be stressed that the involvement of the patient in the process of introducing and applying a proper diet is crucial for the final effect. There is also a risk that a large and rapid weight loss will result in other health problems. We encourage patients to discuss these issues with their doctor before undergoing surgery.