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Who Is It For?

A intragastric balloon is especially suitable for those patients who need to lose a considerable amount of weight before another surgical operation and require professional help. It can also help slightly obese clients who have repeatedly failed to lose weight on a diet plan and it also helps clients before an aesthetic operation in cases where the operation itself cannot ensure the ideal result and the patient needs to reduce their weight first. The balloon is introduced for a period of about six months.

Patients with gastric balloons typically experience around 20 and 30 % weight loss (10 – 20 kg). However, the amount of weight lost by each patient will vary depending on individual circumstances.

How Is It Done?

Endoscopic evaluation of the oesophagus and stomach is done before the procedure. The introduction of the balloon is non-invasive as it is inserted endoscopically (down the oesophagus). The balloon is then filled inside the stomach with a dyed physiological solution. Its total volume is about half a litre (0.1 gallons).

Procedure

The procedure is performed under intravenous sedation, which ensures that the client experiences the minimum discomfort. Local anaesthetic is sprayed into mouth first. The procedure may be uncomfortable, but is generally painless.

The insertion of the balloon takes between 20 and 30 minutes and requires overnight stay at the clinic.

After Procedure

The clients may experience a feeling of fullness or nausea and some might vomit (although this is not common). The feeling of fullness is related to the effect of the balloon which now occupies part of the stomach. This effect means that the patient eats less and thus ensures the desirable result. Although the balloon enables the reduction of the amount of food eaten, it is absolutely necessary to realise that it must be combined with exercise and a change in lifestyle.

Complications concerning intragastric balloons are rather rare and are mainly limited to its rupture. In this case, the patient’s urine turns blue and a visit to a doctor is required in order to have the balloon extracted. Under normal conditions, the balloon is endoscopically extracted after maximum six months.

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