What is a Gastric Balloon?

A gastric balloon is a part of a comprehensive program that should include balloon placement in addition to diet and exercise. A saline-filled soft balloon is placed inside the stomach for six months to ensure proper food portion control. The gastric balloon is placed endoscopically without the need for a surgical procedure. It helps lose weight as it acts as a “filling” inside the stomach.


How Does the Gastric Balloon Work?

The balloon takes up space in the stomach, so the patient becomes less hungry and eats smaller portions during the meal and feels full after eating a small amount of food. While this procedure has proven to be an effective strategy for weight maintenance in gastric balloon patients, weight loss results vary. Keeping the weight balance depends on your willingness and commitment to follow a structured diet and exercise program with a gastric balloon.


The weight loss period usually varies between 3 and 7 months. This is because the balloon reduces the capacity of your stomach and therefore the maximum nutrient intake you can get. However, if the patient has not changed his eating habits during this period, he will regain the weight he had lost after having removed the gastric balloon. Therefore, the balloon can be effective as an auxiliary measure when it comes to changing malnutrition habits in people suffering from varying degrees of obesity. Without this significant change in eating habits, the effectiveness of the balloon is almost nil and its effect is reduced to achieving a small short-term weight loss.


Treatments based on gastric balloon insertion have become increasingly popular. However, for a segment of the population, this method may not be very attractive. It is considered a simple solution as it does not require surgery or post-operative recovery.


How is Gastric Balloon Applied?

During the gastric balloon procedure, a deflated balloon is guided through the patient’s esophagus into the stomach. A long syringe is used to completely safely fill the balloon with a sterile saline solution. The gastric balloon is filled with saline until it is the size of a grapefruit. After the gastric balloon is inflated, it partially fills the stomach cavity and reduces its size. This will allow the patient to feel less hungry and eat smaller portions. The entire gastric balloon placement process takes about half an hour. Because the procedure is non-surgical and minimally invasive, patients can return home after a few hours of recovery.


How Many Types of Gastric Balloons Are There?

There are 4 types of gastric balloons. Why should you choose a gastric balloon method? The balloon always makes you feel full and only allows you to eat in small portions as your stomach already contains the balloon and there is no extra room to eat. The balloon is temporary and is placed in the stomach with a fiber optic camera for 6 months without surgery or incision. No recovery period is required and you can return to your daily activities, including work, the next day.

The balloon should be removed after six months because if left in the stomach for longer, it may rupture and pass into the intestine, causing blockages. If left for more than six months, it can erode the stomach wall and form ulcers.


How Much Weight Loss can be obtained via Gastric Balloon?

After the procedure, patients can lose 20 to 25 kilos. The balloon can be a great option if you are afraid of surgery or are not overweight for weight loss surgery. It is approved for patients with a BMI of 30.


What are the side effects? Nausea and vomiting, especially during the first 2 weeks, is a possible side effect. The balloon might also enter your stomach and cause a blockage, although this happens rarely.


Which Type of Gastric Balloon Should I Prefer?

It can be preferred instead of non-surgical stomach reduction. Another question is, how long should the gastric balloon stay in the stomach? The gastric balloon is not intended to be a long-term weight loss solution. Candidates for the gastric balloon procedure should be aware that the gastric balloon is designed to stay in the stomach for only six months. If your weight loss plan requires using the gastric balloon for more than six months, the procedure will be repeated. During the second gastric balloon application process, the old balloon is simply replaced with a new one.  


Does the patient gain weight after the Gastric Balloon Removal?

The patient should pay attention to his diet or he may regain the weight he lost.

How much weight can you expect to lose with a gastric balloon? Unfortunately, the exact weight a person can expect to lose after going through the gastric balloon procedure cannot be accurately estimated as it varies from person to person. There is no “set” amount of weight that patients can expect to lose. This is because the effectiveness of any weight loss program, including the gastric balloon, is largely dependent on how strictly the patient follows a diet and exercise plan. When the patient adheres to a diet and exercise plan, the gastric balloon can greatly contribute to significant weight loss and maintenance and the weight loss can be up to 25 kg.


What are the Risks of Gastric Balloon Application?

Although there is no great risk, it may cause burning in the stomach.

Can you feel the Gastric Balloon in your stomach? As with other medical procedures, the patient may feel discomfort for the first few days after the gastric balloon is inserted. After a short recovery period, the only feeling the patient should feel on a daily basis is the feeling of fullness after eating a reasonable portion of food.


Recovery after gastric balloon surgery.

Your weight loss surgeon will recommend reducing your activities for a few days after the gastric balloon surgery. The amount of physical activity that each patient should avoid depends on their individual healing abilities and how careful they are during the recovery period. After the surgery, always follow your doctor’s instructions to recover as quickly as possible.


Does the gastric balloon procedure require frequent medical visits?

Anyone choosing to have gastric balloon surgery should be aware of the time commitment associated with such a procedure. After the gastric balloon is inserted, patients go to a health check-up once a month for a total of 6 months. During these medical visits, your overall health and weight loss progress will be monitored and evaluated. Patients are encouraged to continue follow-up visits for a period of six months after the balloon removal. The purpose of these visits is to ensure that your weight loss plan continues to be successful.


Are there any food restrictions? This is one of the best parts of the gastric balloon procedure: there are no restrictions on the types of food you eat. The gastric balloon procedure allows people to eat smaller amounts of food. Be aware that overeating with a gastric balloon in your stomach can be physically dangerous.