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Gastric Balloon

A gastric balloon is an option for you if you want to avoid knife to lose your weight. Intragastric balloon (IGB) is also familiar with the gastric balloon. It is very simple and non-invasive process for treatment of the obese patient. This involves placement of a balloon inside the stomach to lessen the hunger and intake of food giving effect to loss of weight. Anatomically this type of endoscopic bariatric therapy based on gastric space-occupying effect which gives the feeling of satiety and also influences gut neuroendocrine signaling to the brain. Among other endoscopic treatment for weight reduction and relief from co-morbid disease symptoms, gastric balloon treatment has a significant efficacy.

What is gastric balloon surgery and how it is executed?

Gastric balloon is a silicon pouch which is instituted in the patient’s stomach through mouth endoscopically. The doctor inserts a gastroscope (endoscopic camera) through the mouth into the stomach and observes if there is any abnormality in the stomach. If no irregularity is found the pouch is introduced through the mouth and pushing the same down the esophagus into the stomach. It is a painless procedure. Immediately then, the silicon pouch is filled with sterile saline solution. The patient feels the size of the pouch is the full size of the stomach and food intake reduces resulting in loss of weight. Placement of gastric balloon within the stomach properly takes 20-30 minutes and thereafter patient is kept for observation under a physician for short span of time. This procedure is undergone by a qualified gastroenterologist with the help of a professional anesthetist. The patient is released to go home after satisfactory observation for two or three hours to do normal activity.

Who is an eligible candidate for gastric balloon surgery?

If you are morbidly obese and do not have co-morbid syndrome such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) or hurt burn sensation and also want to avoid or have fear of surgical methods, then you are the right person to opt for gastric balloon therapy for weight loss treatment. But you have to follow meticulously the diet chart and lifestyle as prescribed by your doctor and there will be no cheating with own self. The efficacy of gastric balloon surgery is designed to reduce 15-20% of TBWL (Total Body Weight Loss).
How long gastric balloon be kept in the stomach and when it will be removed or replaced?
The gastric balloon is designed to keep within the stomach for 6-12 months depending on the type of balloon recommended by your doctor. Accordingly, with the same time band, the balloon requires replacing with a new one in consultation with your doctor. At the time of replacement the same procedure is followed to place the silicon pouch within the stomach, but here, in this case, the older one is first removed from the stomach endoscopically and then the new one is placed.

What are the complications of gastric balloon surgery?

Gastric balloon surgery has no life-threatening instances and complications are very rare. Below are mentioned some general complications which are manageable by medications:

  • Reflux esophagus — this can easily be prevented by proper acid medication.
  • Stomach ulcer — it depends on the appliance used but is curable or treatable by medication. Following are the risk of stomach ulcer for the different device:
    • Spatz 3: 2 – 5 % (i.e. 2 – 5 in 100)
    • Orbera: 0.04% (i.e. 4 in 10000)