What is the Gastric Balloon?
The gastric balloon is a small silicone balloon that is filled with saline (salt water). When filled it is about the size of a small orange and occupies about half of your stomach. The balloon is usually filled with between 450 and 600ml but this can vary from person to person.
Type of balloon we use
We use the longest established type of gastric balloon, the Orbera. This device has been in use for over 20 years. There is a 6 month version and a longer term 12 month version called the Orbera 365. The Orbera balloon has been used safely across the world in over 250,000 people.
About the gastric balloon procedure
You are sedated, for your comfort, and taken into the endoscopy suite of the hospital where the doctor, this is usually a gastroenterologist or surgeon, will inspect the inside of your stomach using a gastroscope. This is to make sure that the stomach wall is healthy and it is safe to proceed.
Once this has been done, the empty balloon is fed into the stomach and filled with water. Once full we pull the water tube back and it separates from the balloon forming a seal. The whole processes takes no more than 10-15 minutes.
We will keep you in the recovery area for a short period to observe your recovery before discharging you to go home. We’ll send you home with a supply of pain and sickness relief and als medicine to protect the wall of your stomach while the balloon is in place.
In the period after your balloon is placed you need to plan for the following:
- As you have been sedated you will not be able to drive yourself home. You will need to be accompanied home by a friend or family member.
- We encourage you to plan for at least 48-72 hours of inactivity after the procedure
- The first few days following balloon placement can be uncomfortable while the stomach adjusts. Nausea, cramps and vomiting are possible side effects, but can be treated. stay in close contact with our nursing team and we will help you through this period. The symptoms should subside after a few days.
- You will be restricted to a liquid diet for the first 3 days
During the period that the balloon is in place you need to focus on making changes to you diet and exercise habits so that you maximise your weight loss and adopt habits that can jhelp sustain that after thge balloon is removed.
Either 6 or 12 months later you will return to the hospital to have the balloon removed. This is done in much the same way as when the balloon was placed. You will again be sedated and then we feed the gastroscope into your stomach. We then puncture the balloon and suck the water out. The empty balloon is then removed.