If you’re on a quest for a safe and innovative solution to shed excess weight, the gastric balloon could be the answer you’ve been seeking. This sophisticated medical innovation, meticulously crafted from durable silicone rubber, is strategically designed to reside within your stomach, playing a pivotal role in reducing its capacity and fostering a sense of fullness through smaller food portions.
What is a Gastric Balloon?
The gastric balloon is a short-term way to help with obesity. It’s a non-surgical method for losing weight. Skilled doctors put a deflated balloon in your stomach through your mouth. Then they fill it with salty water to take up space in your stomach. This makes digestion slower and reduces hunger, helping you feel full and eat less.
Choosing the advanced gastric balloon treatment lets you start losing weight without surgery. It’s a safe and effective way to temporarily make your stomach smaller. This helps you lose weight and feel better.
Who is eligible for an intragastric balloon?
An intragastric balloon is typically recommended to individuals whose BMI is between 30 and 40. BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is the standard and widely-accepted benchmark for body mass. You can calculate yours here.
While it is designed as a stand-alone procedure, a gastric balloon is often recommended also to individuals who need to lose some weight before undergoing a more invasive surgery, such as sleeve gastrectomy.
Individuals who suffer from stomach irritation or ulcers may be not suitable to receive a gastric balloon, as well as women who are pregnant, plan to get pregnant in the following 6 months, or who are breast-feeding.
Intragastric balloon: How it works step by step
At KCM Clinic we exclusively use Orbera® balloon devices, a leading global producer for intragastric balloons. The balloon itself is a clinical-grade balloon that is filled with a sterile saline solution. It is inserted into your stomach endoscopically and will stay there for a around 6 months. As it fills a big part of your stomach, it will help you feel full sooner, thus limiting food intake. Below is a quick overview of how a gastric balloon procedure works.
In order to assess if you’re eligible for an intragastric balloon, we will ask you a few questions regarding your medical records, your current health status, as well as walk you through the procedure. If you’re interested to know more about the intragastric balloon, feel free to get in touch with us and one of our patient coordinators will be in touch with you in no time!
2. Preparing for the procedure
During the consultation, you will receive all the pre-op instructions for you to follow before the procedure. These may include being on a liquid diet for a few days before. A diagnostic endoscopy might be performed to assess that it is safe to perform the procedure. Most patients are given a local anaesthetic (similar to a throat spray), but you will discuss with your doctor beforehand if you need to be sedated to be more comfortable during the procedure.
3. Placing the balloon
The doctor will insert the deflated balloon with an endoscope through your esophagus and into your stomach. The balloon is made of a soft and smooth silicone material to minimise the risk of irritating the stomach walls. It will then be filled with a sterile solution using a syringe until it reaches the size of a grapefruit. Lastly, the doctor will remove the endoscope. The balloon is now safely placed in your stomach, where it will stay for 6 months. You should be able to go home on the same day, depending on how you feel and what you agreed with the doctor earlier on.
4. Changing your lifestyle
Like for any bariatric procedure, intragastric balloon also requires your full commitment to changing your habits. This is fundamental to make the procedure successful. Changing your diet and exercise habits will help you not only lose weight but also keep it off. This procedure is meant to help you in the long run: during the six months that the balloon will stay in your stomach, you should fundamentally change the way you eat. Our team of professionals will give you all the necessary post-op guidelines, which may include portion eating and regular exercise.
5. Removing the balloon
After six months, the doctor will remove the gastric balloon by inserting the endoscope, deflating the balloon and pulling it out. This procedure will take around 20 minutes.
Is the Gastric Balloon Right for You?
Deciding on the gastric balloon needs careful thought, like any medical choice. It’s important to talk to a healthcare professional. There are specific things to think about to see if the intragastric balloon could work for you:
Weight Goals: If you want to lose around 30 percent of your extra body weight, the gastric balloon could be good for you.
BMI Range: If your BMI is between 30 and 40, and you’re ready to make healthy changes to your lifestyle, get medical support, and have no past stomach or esophageal surgeries, the intragastric balloon might be right.
Health Conditions: Even if it’s not the usual way to lose weight, the gastric balloon has helped people with obesity-related health issues like high blood pressure, sleep apnea, fatty liver, and type 2 diabetes.
For adults who’ve found it hard to lose weight through diet and exercise alone, the gastric balloon could be a promising choice. Remember, talking to a healthcare expert is the best way to figure out what’s right for you.
Intragastric balloon: Are there any side effects?
While a gastric balloon procedure is non-invasive, the following side effects are pretty common:
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain and cramps in your stomach
- Bad breath
These symptoms should subside in a few days. If they last longer than two weeks, you should contact your doctor.
An endoscopy is often an uncomfortable experience, which can also cause throat pain for a few days afterwards.
Benefits of the Gastric Balloon Procedure
Embarking on a gastric balloon procedure provides a range of advantages:
Weight Loss: By reducing stomach volume, the gastric balloon empowers individuals with obesity to feel satisfied with smaller food portions, resulting in gradual and sustainable weight loss.
Enhanced Health: Notably, the gastric balloon has shown significant improvements in obesity-related health conditions, including high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, NAFLD, NASH, and type 2 diabetes.
Non-Invasive: Unlike conventional surgical procedures, the gastric balloon requires no incisions, making it a less intrusive option.
Minimal Complications: The placement of a gastric balloon carries minimal risk of complications, ensuring a secure procedure.
Temporary Solution: It’s important to note that the gastric balloon is a temporary measure, easily removable after six months.
Cost-Effective: Compared to alternative surgical methods, the gastric balloon provides a cost-effective avenue for achieving weight loss.
Swift Recovery: With a procedure duration of approximately 20 to 30 minutes, patients can return home on the same day, experiencing minimal disruption to their daily routines.
How Long Is the Gastric Balloon Left in Place?
The gastric balloon remains in place for up to six months. At the end of this period, the balloon is safely removed using an endoscope. The decision to place a new balloon or not is a collaborative choice between you and your healthcare provider. Throughout these six months, fully commit to adopting a healthy lifestyle, attend regular medical check-ups, and possibly engage in behavioral therapy. The insertion procedure typically takes 15 to 30 minutes, ensuring a swift and efficient process. Following the procedure, you can expect to be discharged and return home within one to two hours.
What Does the Gastric Balloon Operation Involve?
The gastric balloon procedure at a gastric balloon clinic involves the insertion of a specialized balloon into the stomach, which occupies space and reduces the stomach’s capacity to hold food. This temporary procedure typically lasts for six months, after which the balloon is removed.
The placement of the gastric balloon is performed as an outpatient procedure, using an endoscope under sedation. The deflated balloon is attached to a narrow, lighted tube with a camera, known as an endoscope. This instrument is carefully guided through the mouth and into the stomach. Once in the correct position, the balloon is inflated to the desired size using saline solution, dye, or gas.
After the endoscope is removed, the balloon remains in the stomach. The entire procedure usually takes between 15 to 30 minutes to complete.
When it comes time for removal, the deflated balloon is once again attached to an endoscope. This instrument is inserted through the mouth and into the stomach, ensuring proper positioning. The balloon is then deflated and removed in a simple endoscopic procedure, performed under sedation.
By improving the grammar, spelling, and overall clarity of the text, we have created a more professional and engaging description of the gastric balloon operation.
How is the Gastric Balloon Removed?
Gastric balloon removal is a straightforward endoscopic procedure performed under sedation. This procedure involves a sequence of steps to ensure a safe and effective removal:
Secure Attachment: The deflated balloon is securely affixed to an endoscope, a slender tube equipped with a camera for visualization.
Guided Placement: The skilled medical professional gently guides the endoscope through your mouth and into your stomach, ensuring precise placement.
Smooth Removal: Once in position, the balloon is carefully deflated and subsequently removed, ensuring a smooth and efficient process.
The entire procedure typically takes around 15 to 30 minutes, guaranteeing a swift and convenient experience. Rest assured, our team of experienced healthcare providers prioritizes your comfort and safety throughout the gastric balloon removal procedure.
How Soon Will I Recover From a Gastric Balloon Procedure?
Recovery from a gastric balloon procedure distinguishes itself from traditional surgeries due to its unique approach. The process involves two phases: the initial placement of the weight-loss balloon and its subsequent removal after six months. Both stages are minimally invasive and non-surgical, requiring only one to two days for recuperation, akin to non-surgical procedures.
Throughout the six-month period with the gastric balloon, embrace a new lifestyle centered around controlling compulsive eating and consuming smaller portions. This phase isn’t your conventional “recovery” but a training period to establish sustainable eating habits for lasting weight loss post-removal. After the procedure, most patients can return home within one to two hours.
Initially, you might experience temporary symptoms like nausea or vomiting, which typically fade within days. Some discomfort is expected as the stomach adjusts to the balloon’s presence in the early days post-procedure. However, these symptoms generally resolve quickly.
How much weight can you expect to lose with an intragastric balloon?
The intragastric balloon is only effective if patients commit to changing their lifestyle habits. These include following a diet and exercise programme that will help them not only lose weight but also maintain a newly discovered balanced diet and lifestyle. The balloon is ‘only’ a tool to aid weight loss.
We have seen that patients who successfully follow these guidelines lose from 10 to 20 kg in the first 6 months (sometimes even more). The most significant amount of weight loss happens in the first three months after the placement.
Can the gastric balloon leak or deflate inside the stomach?
This is a very rare event, but shall the balloon spontaneously deflate, you may no longer feel full sooner as you would expect. This can be checked via an X-ray and the balloon will have to be removed shortly after.
How Much Does Gastric Balloon Surgery Cost in UK
The cost of gastric balloon procedure at a gastric balloon clinic in the UK can vary based on factors such as the chosen hospital or clinic, surgeon’s experience, and facility type. Here are some key points to consider:
The average cost of gastric balloon surgery in the UK usually falls within the range of £4,000 to £8,000.
Generally, the typical cost of gastric balloon surgery in the UK ranges from £2,000 to £5,000.
For those without health insurance, a private gastric balloon surgery in the UK typically costs around £4,841 at a private hospital or clinic.
It’s important to understand that the cost may vary based on factors such as the specific balloon type and procedure location. To obtain personalized information about the cost of gastric balloon surgery in the UK, consult a healthcare professional or reputable medical tourism agency.
By considering these factors and seeking professional advice, you can make informed decisions about gastric balloon surgery and its associated costs in the UK. Your journey towards improved health and well-being starts here.
Intragastric Balloon at KCM Clinic
Intragastric balloons are a great non-surgical option if you need to lose excess weight. Our team of experienced professionals will be happy to assist you from start to finish: from our first consultation to discuss eligibility until planning your trip to the clinic, we’re here for you. We have successfully helped hundreds of patients get back control of their life, many of them traveling from other countries thanks to our competitive prices, virtually non-existent waiting lists, and high level of medical care. If you want to have a look at how much a gastric balloon costs, feel free to have a look at our full price list here.
Is it possible to receive a gastric balloon through the NHS?
The availability of gastric balloons on the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom can vary. Generally, the eligibility criteria are stringent, and the decision to provide a gastric balloon through the NHS is based on factors such as your overall health, Body Mass Index (BMI), and previous weight loss attempts. To ascertain whether you qualify for this procedure under the NHS, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider or contact the NHS directly.
Who Cannot have a gastric balloon?
While each individual’s eligibility is determined by their healthcare provider, there are some common factors that might lead to a person not being suitable for a gastric balloon. These factors could include individuals who are pregnant, have a history of certain gastrointestinal disorders, have had previous stomach or esophageal surgeries, or have certain medical conditions that could pose risks during the procedure. A thorough evaluation by a medical professional is necessary to determine eligibility.
Can you eat normally with a gastric balloon?
With a gastric balloon, the goal is to promote weight loss by creating a feeling of fullness and limiting food intake. While you can eat relatively normally, you may find that your portion sizes will be significantly smaller. It’s important to follow a balanced and healthy diet recommended by your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian. Certain foods that are high in calories and fats may need to be limited for optimal results.
How painful is a gastric balloon?
The level of discomfort or pain experienced during and after the insertion of a gastric balloon can vary among individuals. The procedure is typically performed under sedation or anesthesia to minimize any potential discomfort. Some individuals might experience mild discomfort, bloating, or nausea in the initial days following the procedure as their body adjusts to the presence of the balloon. It’s important to communicate any discomfort to your healthcare provider so they can provide appropriate guidance.
How do you sleep with a gastric balloon?
After the insertion of a gastric balloon, your healthcare provider will provide specific instructions for your post-procedure care, which might include recommendations for sleeping positions. Generally, it’s advisable to sleep in a slightly elevated position with the upper body elevated on pillows. This can help reduce any potential discomfort or reflux during the initial days when your body is adjusting to the balloon.
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