Gastric balloon surgery is a procedure for weight loss in which a saline-filled silicone balloon is placed inside your stomach. The balloon helps limit food intake by making the stomach fuller quickly, and thus, is helpful in weight reduction. Being a non-surgical technique, it is usually free from complications. The balloon is kept inside your stomach for around 6-12 months and then removed. This method is typically used when other methods, such as diet control, exercise, and other lifestyle changes, have failed.
Endoscopic intragastric balloon
The gastric balloon is a useful technique for weight reduction done under mild anaesthesia to block the pain and sensation. A deflated balloon is placed inside your stomach orally through a catheter or tube, and then the endoscope is advanced through your gastric canal to the stomach. The placement of the balloon is monitored by your doctor on the screen. The balloon is detached and filled with saline or air, and the endoscope and catheter are removed from your gastric tract. The size and type of the balloon depend upon the age, obesity level, and overall health of the patient.
After the placement of the balloon, it is crucial to visit your doctor for all the scheduled follow-ups to assess the anticipated results. You will be recommended to take clear liquids after around 6 hours post-procedure. For around one week, you will be taking only a liquid diet, and then in week 2, you can start with a soft diet. After around three weeks, you can start taking your regular food. You need to take your medications as prescribed. Avoid strenuous activities, such as weight lifting, aerobics, etc., for a few weeks; rather start with light exercises and a slow walk. The balloon is usually removed after six weeks, and the progress is assessed.
Risks and side effects associated with gastric balloon placement include the following:
Following the placement of the balloon, you might be discharged the same day or within a couple of days depending upon your overall health. For the first few days after the balloon placement, you will not feel hungry and feel nauseated all the time. It might take a few weeks to recover from stomach upset and discomfort. Your appetite will start returning to normal after a few days.
You can start returning to your normal activities within a few weeks. However, if you are involved in heavy work, discuss that beforehand with your doctor. Following up with your doctor as per the schedule is imperative for a speedy recovery.