Weight loss and health benefits of a gastric balloon
Our experience shows that a gastric balloon procedure typically results in a 2-3 stone weight loss over the 6 months that the balloon is in place, although some have successfully lost as much as 4 or 5 stone. 70-80% of your total weight loss will be lost in the first 3 months, after which your weight loss slows down and the balloon plays a more supportive role in helping you to maintain your new nutrition and exercise regimes*.
Your total weight loss will be based on your starting weight and how quickly you'll see results will depend largely on how well you adapt to the gastric balloon, alter your eating behaviour, and adopt an exercise regime. There are no miracles in weight loss, as you well know, so it's important to stay disciplined and focused for good long term results.This is why the nutritional and physical activity aspects of the support plan are so important for long term success.
In addition to weight loss, gastric balloon patients can also experience the wide range of health benefits associated with any method of weight loss. Improvements can be seen in the following:
- Sleep apnoea
- Back pain and arthritis
Risks and side-effects of a gastric balloon
In the hands of experts, the gastric balloon is a very safe and effective procedure and serious complications are uncommon. In the study of 714 patients (Lopez et al*), implantation was successful in every case and overall complication rates were very low but as we believe it's important for you to have the full picture, we have included details of the risks and possible complications below. We will of course be on hand to provide you with guidance and support for any complications or side effects that you experience both during, and after the gastric balloon procedure.
- Stomach discomfort, cramping, nausea and vomiting - common side effects during the first few days following balloon placement
- A feeling of heaviness in the abdomen, abdominal or back pain is possible as your body adjusts to the presence of the balloon
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux and indigestion have also been reported
- Some patients feel they are unable to tolerate the balloon in the stomach, which in some extreme cases, may result in removal. However, usually after the first 3-5 days the discomfort should fade and the balloon will just provide a feeling of fullness
- There is a theoretical risk that the balloon could rupture and enter the bowel. If this occurred it would usually pass through the bowel and be expelled naturally but there is a risk, albeit extremely small, that the ruptured balloon could obstruct the bowel. The main reason that the balloon is removed after 6 months is to minimise the risk of the balloon leaking and causing problems
Lopez-Nava G, Rubio MA et al. Bioenterics Intragastric Balloon (BIB). Single Ambulatory Centre Spanish Experience with 714 Consecutive Patients treated with One or Two Consecutive Balloons.
Obes Surg 2010. Published Online 20th March