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Intragastric balloon

The Intra Gastric Balloon is a non-surgical aid in the treatment of obesity. The Intra Gastric Balloon is a soft, expandable; silicone balloon placed inside the stomach via endoscopy (enters through the mouth and into the stomach with or without sedation).

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About the procedure

A gastric balloon aims to reduce feelings of hunger and help you feel fuller for longer even with intakes of small meals. Also known as an intragastric, balloon, this weight loss treatment can help you lose weight without invasive surgery. A gastric balloon, designed to be a temporary weight loss solution, is fitted into your stomach and will be removed after six months.  The balloon is filled with saline solution to partially fill your stomach, leaving less room for excessive amounts of food or drink.

What is the procedure?

The intra-gastric balloon is fitted in simple steps:

  • It is surgically implanted into your stomach through the mouth with the help of an endoscopic camera
  • On being set in place it is filled with a saline solution (sterilized salt water) to take some space of the stomach so you eat less
  • The operation time is max 20 to 30 minutes

Benefits/Appropriate

The general benefits after implantation are:

  • New longer life
  • Time taken to implant is only 20 minutes
  • Weight loss is definite (how much, depends on individual)
  • Improvement in diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and mobility

Appropriate For..

The Intragastric balloon is appropriate for weight loss assistance in people:

  • Who easily have approx 10-30 kilograms of weight to be lost. 
  • Who have a (individual) BMI of 27 or greater
  • For whom other weight-loss surgeries are not suitable
  • For those who do not want to undergo a surgery

Before surgery

Before the implant, you should get a thorough medical check-up done. It will confirm if you have any other ailments that might influence the outcome of the implantation. Weeks before the implantation have a talk with your dietician.

Recovery

After the intragastric balloon implantation, you will require three days to recover. Depending on how much time your body takes in adjusting to the balloon, shall get you back to your daily routine.

After care

After you are discharged from the hospital, the aftercare is vital, right from changing your lifestyle to your diet. On discharge your entire health team surgeon, specialist nurses, Dieticians, Psychiatrists and exercise Specialist will guide you through.

Time taken

The implantation takes only 20 minutes. Liquid diet is prescribed during the first week, but later starting from the second week on solid food is recommended. The balloon will stay in your stomach for six months, so until this duration you will have to be careful about your diet.

Risk & complications

Though serious complications are very rare, it involves some risks such as gastric discomfort, heaviness in abdomen area, abdominal or back pain or indigestion. Some patients are also at risk of not tolerating the balloon feel in their stomach; this leads to early removal.

A theoretical risk is the balloon rupturing and entering your bowel tract. If it occurs, it shall pass safely through the bowel tract and be expelled naturally, however, a small albeit, it can block the bowel tract and require medical help. Being a safe procedure overall complication rates is low.

Advantages

The advantage of implanting an intragastric balloon as compared to other diet programs are patient loses more weight and feels more satiated.  A team of medical experts attends to the patient to the patient. This is a highly recommended diet and weight loss program as it is non-surgical and non-pharmacological.

What next?

After your surgery, you will be required to stay on a liquid or puree-diet. From the third week on you can start intake of solid foods. In such quantities as prescribed by your dietician.  It is very important that you do not exceed the recommendations of your dietician. In six months, the balloon shall be removed, and you will have lost a good amount of weight, as well.

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