Gastric balloon

Benefits of a gastric balloon

How much weight will I lose with a balloon?

Our experience shows that a gastric balloon procedure typically results in a 2-3 stone weight loss over the first 6 months that the balloon is in place, although some have successfully lost as much more. We expect 70-80% of your weight loss to happen in the first 3 months, after which your weight loss slows down or flattens and the balloon plays a more supportive role in helping you to maintain your new weight.

The weight you lose will depend on your starting weight and how well you adapt to the new eating habits the balloon can encourage. 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 our support plan are so important for long term success.

Health benefits with a balloon

In addition to weight loss, gastric balloon patients can also experience any of the wide range of health benefits associated with weight loss. Improvements can be seen with the following conditions:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Back pain and arthritis
  • Self esteem

Risks of the gastric balloon

In the hands of experts, the gastric balloon is a very safe and effective procedure and serious complications are uncommon. In a study of 714 balloon patients (Lopez et al*), implantation was successful in every case and overall complication rates were very low, but so that you have the full picture, we have included details of the risks and possible complications that could be experienced. 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
  • 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 a maximum of 12 months (with Orbera 365) is to minimise the risk of the balloon leaking and causing problems. In over 1000 ballloon procedures a HEalthier Weight patient has never experienced thsi complication.
The most common side effect is early sickness and nausea. We do all we can to help you through this period. There will however be a small proportion of people who decide they are unable or unwilling to carry on with the balloon. These early removals are usually done at the patient’s request but there may be rare occasions where your symptoms don’t settle and we encourage removal. We expect early removals due to intolerhnace in about 1 in every 20 people.
It is most important that you stay hydrated in the 4early days after the balloon is placed.

*Scientific Reference 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

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