The Intra Gastric Balloon is a simple gastric surgery devise, fitted inside the stomach, to create short term & rapid weight loss. It is a soft, expandable, silicone balloon that is placed inside the stomach via a camera that enters through the mouth and into the stomach. Once inserted in the stomach, the empty balloon is filled with sterile saline.

Rapid Short term weight loss to enable surgery.

This simple tool allows surgeons the possibility to create a short and rapid period of weight loss for the candidate, this may be necessary to reduce a candidate’s weight to a safer level for further obesity surgery and also enable the surgeon to successfully monitor whether the gastric bypass would be suitable for the candidate.

Cure for Diabetes

In addition the short term weight loss enables the surgeon to monitor diabetes and its effects to determine the candidate’s suitability for the Roux en Y Gastric Bypass and whether the patient might reasonable expect the bypass to cure their diabetes.

The Gastric Balloon is a useful and simple devise that is easily and quickly fitted without a surgical procedure and can be easily and simply withdrawn from the stomach without the patients suffering much discomfort.

This is a temporary restriction placed inside the stomach pouch, which reduces food intake. It is generally used in cases where the candidate has an unusually high BMI, or Diabetes II in order to reduce the weight of the candidate to a safer level for them to undergo weight loss surgery safely and to cure diabetes II.

How Does the Intra Gastric Balloon WorkGastric Balloon Before and After

The balloon fills a large portion of the stomach, and therefore reduces the capacity of the stomach.

This creates a feeling of fullness for the patient and does not allow for overeating, therefore allowing the patient to effectively diet without feeling continuously hungry.

How Is the Intra Gastric Balloon procedure performed?

A qualified specialist gastroenterologist performs this procedure in conjunction with an anesthetist and trained nursing staff. The balloon is introduced into the stomach through the mouth without the need for surgery. The physician inserts an endoscopic camera (gastroscope) into the stomach. If no abnormalities are observed, the physician proceeds with the placement of the balloon through the mouth and down the esophagus into the stomach. Once the balloon is inside the stomach, it is filled with sterile saline through a small filling tube attached to the balloon. Once filled, the doctor removes the tube by gently pulling on the external end, leaving the balloon inside the stomach.

Placement of the balloon takes approximately take 20 minutes, after which you will be monitored by specialist nursing staff in the recovery bay.

As this is a “day-hospital” procedure, you are generally able to be escorted back to your accommodation a few hours after balloon insertion, although on occassion you will be required to remain in hospital.

How Long Is the Gastric Balloon System Used?

The balloon currently can be used for six months. Longer periods of use are not recommended. Over time the acidic content of the stomach will weaken the balloon material and cause the balloon to deflate. Should your physician recommend use of the balloon for longer than six months, a new balloon will be placed six months after the first balloon is fitted.

While you are using the balloon, your physician may prescribe a course of oral medication to reduce your stomach acid (this may reduce the possibility of stomach irritation and damage to the balloon).

What Happens if the Gastric Balloon Deflates Spontaneously?

The surgeon will place a coloured dye inside the balloon called Methelyene Blue. This will help you clearly identify early deflation or leakage as it will change the colour of your urine.

The balloon is small enough that it may pass through the intestines and leave the body naturally, but there have been some cases in which it has had to be removed from the bowel surgically. If you suspect a deflation, you must notify your physician immediately.

How Will the Gastric Balloon Be Removed?

The balloon is removed in the same way it was placed, via the oesophagus and mouth.. Using an endoscopic camera, the physician will introduce a catheter through the mouth and into the stomach. The balloon will then be punctured and deflated. Once the balloon is deflated it can be grasped and removed.

How Much Weight Will I Lose with the Gastric Balloon System?

It is important for you to understand that the Gastric Balloon System is an aid to weight loss and must be used in conjunction with a diet, exercise and a behaviour modification program. Therefore, the amount of weight you lose will depend on how closely you follow your diet. How long you maintain weight loss will depend on how completely you adopt long-term lifestyle changes involving eating behaviour and exercise.

What Unpleasant Effects Are Possible with the Gastric Balloon?

It is very likely that the presence of the balloon in the stomach will cause nausea or vomiting for a few days after placement. Your physician will prescribe medication to help minimise these potential effects.

There exists the possibility that you will lose only a small amount of weight or lose no weight at all while using the balloon. Of course, as stated earlier, your commitment to dietary and behavioural changes is a pivotal factor in the outcome.

There is also the chance that unhealthy, uncontrolled weight loss will occur and create adverse health consequences. Be sure to speak with your physician about this.