The Intra Gastric Balloon is a simple gastric surgery device, fitted inside the stomach, to create short term & rapid weight loss. It is a soft, expandable, silicone balloon that is placed inside the stomach via a camera that enters through the mouth and into the stomach. Once inserted in the stomach, the empty balloon is filled with a sterile saline solution.
The Gastric Balloon can be easily and simply withdrawn from the stomach without the patients suffering much discomfort.
The Intra Gastric Balloon is fitted and removed under a mild sedative to reduce discomfort, it is normally removed after 6 – 9 months.
Rapid Short term weight loss to enable surgery
The gastric balloon allows surgeons the possibility to create a short and rapid period of weight loss for candidates that are considered too heavy for surgery, this may be necessary to reduce a candidate’s weight to a safer level for further obesity surgery and also enable the surgeon to successfully monitor whether a gastric bypass would be suitable for the candidate.
Cure for Diabetes II
In addition the short term weight loss, the surgeon is able to monitor sugar levels and diabetes to determine the candidate’s suitability for the Roux en Y Gastric Bypass and whether the patient might reasonably expect the bypass to cure their diabetes.
How Does the Intra Gastric Balloon Work?
The balloon fills a large portion of the stomach, and therefore reduces the capacity of the stomach.
This creates a feeling of fullness for the patient and does not allow for overeating, therefore allowing the patient to effectively diet without feeling continuously hungry.
How Is the Intra Gastric Balloon procedure performed?
A qualified specialist gastroenterologist performs this procedure in conjunction with an anaesthetist and trained nursing staff.
The balloon is introduced into the stomach through the mouth without the need for surgery. The physician inserts an endoscopic camera (gastroscope) into the stomach. If no abnormalities are observed, the physician proceeds with the placement of the balloon through the mouth and down the oesophagus into the stomach. Once the balloon is inside the stomach, it is filled with sterile saline through a small filling tube attached to the balloon. Once filled, the doctor removes the tube by gently pulling on the external end, leaving the balloon inside the stomach.
Placement of the balloon takes approximately take 20 minutes, after which
the candidate is monitored by specialist nursing staff in the recovery bay.
As this is a “day-hospital” procedure? The candidate is able to return to their accommodation a few hours after balloon insertion.
How Long Is the Gastric Balloon System Used?
The balloon currently can be placed inside the stomach for 6 - 9 months. Longer periods of use are not recommended. Over time the acidic content of the stomach will weaken the balloon material and cause the balloon to deflate. Should the physician recommend use of the balloon for longer than six months, a new balloon will be placed six months after the first balloon is fitted.
The physician may prescribe a course of oral medication to reduce stomach acid (this may reduce the possibility of stomach irritation and damage to the balloon).
A diet sheet is available from Quality-Gastric-Bypass.com to help cnadidates get used to the Gastric Balloon. The fist few days are important and can be uncomfortable. Any assistance to make this period easier is greatly received.
What Happens if the Gastric Balloon Deflates Spontaneously?
The surgeon will place a colored dye inside the balloon called Methelyene Blue. This will help clearly identify early deflation or leakage as it will change the colour of the urine.
The balloon is small enough that it may pass through the intestines and leave the body naturally, but there have been some cases in where it has had to be removed from the bowel surgically.
If a deflation is suspected contact a physician immediately.
How Will the Gastric Balloon Be Removed?
The balloon is removed in the same way it was placed, via the oesophagus and mouth. Using an endoscopic camera, the physician will introduce a catheter through the mouth and into the stomach. The balloon will then be punctured and deflated. Once the balloon is deflated it can be grasped and removed.
How Much Weight Will I Lose with the Gastric Balloon System?
It is important to understand that the Gastric Balloon System is an aid to weight loss and must be used in conjunction with diet, exercise and a behaviour modification program. Therefore, the amount of weight loss depends on how closely this program is followed, and on how completely the candidate adopts long-term lifestyle changes, eating behaviour changes and exercise. Normally it is possible to loose 1 stone (6.3kgs) a month.
What Unpleasant Effects Are Possible with the Gastric Balloon?
It is very likely that the presence of the balloon in the stomach will cause nausea or vomiting for a few days after placement. The physician will prescribe medication to help minimize these potential effects.
There exists the possibility that only a small amount of weight or no weight at all will be lost, while using the balloon. The commitment to dietary and behavioural changes is a pivotal factor in the outcome.
There is also the chance that unhealthy, uncontrolled weight loss will occur and create adverse health consequences. Be sure to speak with your physician about this.
The Gastric Balloon Program ...
Arrival + Consultation with Dr Stefaan De Clercq + Nutritionist
Consultation with Dr Stefaan De Clercq + Balloon placement + Return to Hotel
The nurse will visit you in your accommodation
Stay in Hotel
Post operative check & departure
- Meet the Surgeons
- View Antwerp University Hospital Picture Gallery
- Why have Surgery in Belgium?
- See Our Travel Page to Help you Plan Your Travel
- How do I Book Weight Loss Surgery?