A gastric balloon is a weight loss procedure where a silicone balloon filled with saline is inserted in your stomach to limit the amount of food you can eat. It is meant to make you feel full faster, which in turn reduces the amount of food you consume per meal. Doctors may recommend gastric balloon placement if other natural weight loss options have not worked for you. This weight loss procedure can also be recommended if a patient’s body mass index (BMI) is not high enough to qualify them for bariatric surgery. This article discusses how much weight one can lose with gastric balloon, including what to expect during and after the procedure.
How is Gastric Balloon Done?
You may need to do a few things before the actual procedure. You will be given specific instructions on the type of medications you can take, what you will eat and drink, and a physical activity program in the period leading up to the procedure. The placement of the gastric balloon is often carried out as an outpatient procedure in the endoscopy unit. The doctor will insert a thin tube down your throat loaded with the gastric balloon into your stomach. It is then accompanied by an endoscope that allows the doctor to see the balloon as it is filled with saline. The gastric balloon procedure takes about half an hour.
You may be required to take small amounts of clear liquids six hours after the actual procedure. Your doctor or physician may put you in a liquid diet for a week before you can start eating soft foods. It takes about three weeks to start eating regular foods after the insertion of the gastric balloon.
How Much Weight Can You Lose with Gastric Balloon?
The amount of weight you can lose with a gastric balloon may vary depending on the changes you make to your lifestyle habits. The placement of the balloon in your stomach helps to slow down the time it takes for food to be emptied in your stomach. Your doctor can remove the gastric balloon after 6 months or less depending on your health goals and recommendations.
You are expected to lose about 7 to 15 percent of body weight during the six months following the placement of the gastric balloon in your stomach. Total excess weight loss may range between 30 to 47 percent based on a summary of treatments that are currently available. The gastric balloon in your stomach makes you feel full faster than normal when eating resulting in less food intake in a single meal. It also alters the level of hormones that control your appetite.
The gastric balloon in your stomach can help resolve or improve conditions related to obesity. It lowers your risk of suffering from weight-related health problems such as high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or stroke. Keep in mind that gastric balloon placement can only be done after you have exhausted all other natural procedures for weight loss without any improvement.
Who Should Go For Gastric Balloon Placement?
The gastric balloon can be an ideal option for you if your body mass index falls between 30 and 40 BMI. It is also important for you to provide a complete medical history to your doctor to show that you have not had any esophageal surgery or previous stomach complications. It is also important for one to be willing to commit to healthy lifestyle changes including a healthy diet and physical activity program. You also need to be willing to participate actively in behavioral therapy and regular medical follow-ups after the procedure.
Are There Any Side Effects?
After the gastric balloon procedure, you may experience short-term side effects such as nausea and vomiting, gastric discomfort, and abdominal pain. However, these symptoms usually last for a few days before you start feeling normal. The gastric balloon can alter the changes in the hormone levels that drive your appetite. Serious side effects of gastric balloon placement are very rare but can be fatal if they occur. A deflation could cause an intestinal blockage that may require additional surgery or procedure to remove the device.
The gastric balloon placement is only the first step on your journey to losing weight. It is still possible to regain weight or go back to normal even if the procedure works correctly. The amount of weight you lose will depend significantly on your new lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and frequent follow-ups.