The gastric balloon is a non-surgical weight loss procedure aimed at people who want to fully engage in an intense period of weight loss over six months. It offers a helping hand for weight loss but patients must be committed to keeping to a sensible eating plan once the gastric balloon is removed.
People choose the gastric balloon for many reasons. These include: looking for an efficient way to lose weight after pregnancy, immobility or yo-yo dieting, the need to lose weight because of a weight related co-morbidity such as polycystic ovary syndrome or, before another surgery for example heart bypass surgery. Some people prefer a non-surgical procedure or they aren’t medically fit enough for weight loss surgery.
What does a gastric balloon procedure involve?
The procedure involves inserting a deflated gastric balloon through your mouth, down your gullet and into your stomach. It’s then inflated using a sterile saline so that the balloon fills around 70% of your stomach’s capacity. It only takes about fifteen minutes and is usually carried out with little or no sedation.
The gastric balloon is left in your stomach for six months and is then simply deflated and removed.
How does a gastric balloon work?
A gastric balloon creates a feeling of fullness which helps you to eat less. It’s presence in your stomach partially fills it and means that there is less available space for food. So when you eat, your stomach fills up quicker and results in you eating smaller portions yet still feeling satisfied.
You’ll have a dedicated support programme to help you change your relationship with food and support you in making long term diet changes.
Why choose a gastric balloon procedure?
The gastric balloon programme offers many advantages:
- A safe, effective, proven, non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical weight loss alternative.
- A quick procedure using minimal sedation.
- You can go home an hour or two after your procedure.
- It’s temporary offering initial support to your weight loss.
- More saline can be used to make less room in your stomach if your weight plateaus.
- Less expensive weight loss option than surgery.
- Many patients achieve satisfactory weight loss in the six-month period whilst the balloon is used.
- You have support from a team of medical experts.
- You can learn and adopt diet and lifestyle principles for long-term success.
- An alternative if you’re not eligible for weight loss surgery.
How much weight can I lose with a gastric balloon?
The weight loss achievable with a gastric balloon varies depending on your individual circumstances and commitment to making diet and lifestyle changes.
On average patients with gastric balloons typically loose around 20 and 30 percent of their weight.
Things to bear in mind when considering a gastric balloon
You need to be dedicated to keeping to a healthier diet and lifestyle to achieve significant and long term results. This includes continuing with your new ways of eating after the gastric balloon is removed.
Weight loss using a gastric balloon can be slower and lower than weight loss surgery.
Am I eligible for a gastric balloon?
If you’ve tried many diets and joined weight loss programmes in an attempt to shift your excess weight, but without success, the gastric balloon may be the answer for you.
To qualify, your BMI must be over 27 and you should understand that your behaviour around food needs to change in order for you to reap the long term benefits of your gastric balloon.