What is the gastric balloon?
The gastric balloon is a sofá, silicone balloon of high resistance that is inserted into the stomach through the mouth and filled with 400 – 700 ml of sterile saline. There is no surgery or general anesthetic envolved, so you will be able to leave the clinic soon alter it has been placed.
How does it work?
When the balloon is filled, it occupies most of the stomach capacity and you will have a feeling of satiety and fullness. It also delays stomach emptying which too leaves you feeling fuller for longer. The treatment is accompanied by consultations with our Nutritionist Nurse to correct your eating habits, which will ensure you are able to maintain your weight loss once the balloon is removed.
What are the criteria for placement of a gastric balloon?
- In patients who have a Body Mass Index ( BMI ) equal to or greater than 30 ( 15-20 kg overweight ).
- In patients who have a BMI between 25-30 with significant comorbidities which could be improved by losing weight such a diabetes and hipertensión.
- In adolescents between the ages of 13-18 who are physically and mentally mature for this type of procedure and the other surgical treatments are contraindicated to treat their obesity.
- In patients with morbid obesity who would not like to go through surgery or who would like to loose weight prior to the placement of the balloon.
The patient will undergo a preoperative assesment by the medical team which includes a clinical, dietary and psychological assesment. Furthermore, a full blood test, electrocardiogram ( ECG ) and an abdominal X-Ray will be done, if the preoperative assessment is not sufficient.
Adjusting to the gastric balloon
Directly after the placement, your stomach will feel full and you may have the impression that you have had an anesthetic as you will not remember anything. You maybe uncomfortable the first few days as your body gets used to the balloon and you may experience nausea and vomiting. You will need to follow a liquid diet for the first 2-3 days. Thereafter you will be able to return to ‘normal’ consistency foods and return to your daily life.
After placement of the gastric balloon, follow up with our nutritionist nurse is extremely important. This is for nutritional education and advice on changing your dietary habits so that your weight loss is maintained once the balloon has been extracted.
Extraction of the balloon
After 6 months, the balloon will be removed in a 20 minutes procedure similar to that of the placement. You will need to follow a liquid diet for 24 hours prior to the removal of it. During the removal procedure you will be sedated and the surgeon will remove the saline water from the balloon before removing the deflated balloon from your stomach.
Once the balloon has been removed, you will still be under the supervision of our team to ensure you continue with your new eating habits and maintain your weight loss.
How much weight will I lose?
You can expect to lose around 15-30 kg. However, your results will depend on how well you follow the program and adjust your eating habits.
Advantages of the gastric balloon
The placement of the balloon is simple and safe, and does not require any surgery or hospital stay. The balloon is an effective weight loss tool in patients with a BMI > 30 as it aids in the modification of their dietary habits.
The balloon will not be placed in patients who:
• Have a stomach ulcer or another medical problem which may cause bleeding in the stomach.
• Have a large hiatus hernia – if you suffer from heart burn or reflux, you may have a hiatus hernia.
• Have had any previous surgery to your stomach or intestine.
• Suffer with inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
• Have certain psychological problems.
It is not recommended in patients who are pregnant. However, if you fall pregnant while it is in place, it will be removed without difficulty.