An endoscopic gastric balloon placement is a new weight-loss treatment. An intragastric balloon is placed non-surgically through an endoscopy, into the stomach to help those who are obese and struggling, to lose weight. The balloon is then left in the stomach for 6 months, taking up half the space which then leaves the person satisfied and feeling fuller with less food intake, aiding weight loss.
Like other weight-loss treatments, the intragastric balloon placement requires a change in lifestyle and eating habits. The amount of weight lost during this treatment depends on the lifestyle changes made. Health changes can aid the success of a gastric balloon. This treatment is able to help improve conditions related to obesity such as heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea and type 2 diabetes.
This treatment is done non-surgically. Once sedated, an endoscopy is used to evaluate whether or not there is any reason the gastric balloon cannot be placed. Thereafter, using an endoscope through the oesophagus, the deflated balloon is inserted into the stomach. Once inside, the balloon is inflated with saline solution up to the size of a grapefruit. For safety reasons, the saline solution is dyed blue so that if the balloon ruptures, you will be able to notice the blue dye in the stool and seek emergency care. An endoscopic gastric balloon placement is completed in about 30 minutes.
A gastric balloon is inserted for those who are having trouble losing weight and have tried dieting and exercising. This weight loss treatment may be an option if you have a body mass index between 30 and 40, have not had previous stomach or oesophagus surgery and are willing to commit to a healthy lifestyle and participate in behavioural therapy. Whether or not you are a candidate for this type of weight-loss treatment, Dr Noorbhai will advise in your consultation.
The duration of this procedure is usually no longer than 30 minutes. You will be kept for observation for a few hours after the procedure and are then able to go home on the same day. How soon you will be able to go home depends on whether you are able to drink liquids when waking up, how much pain you have and whether you have someone to look after you at home.
It is normal to experience nausea and pain for a few days after the placement of the intragastric balloon. Following an endoscopic gastric balloon placement, you will be able to start having small amounts of liquids from 6 hours after the procedure. During the second week after the procedure, you will be able to consume solid foods. 3 weeks after the procedure, you will be able to eat reasonable portions of solid food. You will be aided by a nutritionist to help you make healthy lifestyle choices. You will also be seeing a behavioural therapist to help aid your weight-loss process as the amount of weight you are able to lose depends on the behavioural changes you make during the treatment. You will also need to make decisions that help aid your weight loss journey after the gastric balloon is removed.
During the treatment, Dr. Noorbhai will monitor your weight-loss and lifestyle changes, as well as determine when the balloon should be removed. The balloon is to be used for a maximum of 6 months.
Once the balloon has been left in the stomach for up to 6 months, Dr Noorbhai will remove the balloon the same way it was inserted, endoscopically. It is essential that you keep maintaining the healthy lifestyle changes that you have made to keep the weight you have lost off and reach your ideal goal weight.
Patients may not reach their goal weight with the placement of an intragastric balloon. Some patients may also regain the weight after the balloon is removed if behavioural lifestyle changes aren’t made. The risk of complications are rare, and gastric balloon placement is the least invasive of bariatric surgery, but the following complications can occur: