Categories: Gastroenterology

Gastric Balloon

Gastric balloon or an Intra Gastric balloon is an FDA approved non-invasive method to treat obesity or a program of weight loss. It is helpful for those people who are suffering from obesity and not able to lose weight with the help of traditional methods such as dieting and exercising. A gastric balloon is proven to help those people who want to lose a significant amount of weight. During this method with the help of an endoscope, a balloon is implanted in the stomach through the mouth. This balloon is filled with saline and it helps to lose weight by limiting the intake and giving the feeling of fullness with less food. As this implant is not permanent, it does not alter the anatomy of the patient. This method is less risky then bariatric surgery, and if the patient is found suitable as per the criteria then only suggested for the gastric balloon.

Like any other weight treatment procedure, it is expected that a patient should follow a healthier lifestyle schedule, so the patient has to make permanent healthy changes to the diet and regular exercise to ensure the long-term success of the procedure.

Why Gastric Balloon:

An installation of Gastric Balloon helps to lose the weight. By undergone a weight loss treatment, you can decrease the risk of potentially serious weight-related problems. Such as:

  1. Gastro-Oesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  2. Heart Disease or Stroke
  3. High Blood Pressure
  4. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
  5. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
  6. Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)
  7. Type 2 Diabetes

Intra Gastric Balloon placement does only suggests when other weight loss procedure (such as diet and exercise) has been applied but did not get any favourable output.

Potential Patients:

The Intra Gastric balloon may be an option of a patient who has the following symptoms:

  1. If your Basic Mass Index (BMI) is between 30 to 40.
  2. If you are obese and despite that, you are willing to commit a healthy lifestyle change, get regular follow-ups, and participate in several behavioural therapies.
  3. No previous Stomach or Oesophageal surgery.

An Intra Gastric balloon procedure is not helpful and applied to everyone who is suffering from obesity. A proper screening process will help to know whether this procedure is beneficial for a patient or not.

Risks of Intra Gastric Balloon:

Sometimes, pain and nausea affect the patient who has an insertion of Intra Gastric Balloon. These symptoms may visible immediately after the insertion. However, these symptoms usually fade away after a few days of balloon placement. These symptoms can be managed with medicines at home.

It is rare to have any serious side effects after the Intra Gastric balloon placement. But is possible that balloon could deflate or rupture. If a balloon can get deflated, then there is a risk that it can move through your digestive system that can cause a blockage that may require an additional procedure or surgery to remove it.

Intra Gastric Balloon may create ulcers or perforation (hole) in the stomach wall, which might require surgery to fix it.

A few possible complications from a Gastric balloon are as follows:

  1. Gastric ulcers
  2. Abdominal pain
  3. Acid reflux
  4. Obstruction

After Care and Recovery:

A patient can go home on the same day after placement of Intra Gastric balloon and may continue with normal daily activities. A dietician and doctor (who has placed Intra Gastric balloon) will discuss the dietary and exercise changes to reach and maintain weight loss targets. After gastric balloon insertion, for the initial day patient must have to continue with the liquid/fluid intake followed by a soft food diet. After few days patients may shift to normal textured solid food.

Intra Gastric balloon can stay up to six months in the stomach. It is important to continue with diet modification and lifestyle to maintain weight loss.

Dr. Kiran R, Consultant – Gastroenterology – Medical, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Bommasandra, Bangalore

Narayana Health

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