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Gastric balloon removal - your future without the balloon

This section covers what to expect from your gastric balloon removal procedure and what you can do to make changes to maintain your weight loss in the long term.

Support and advice

This procedure marks a very important step in your weight loss journey and to ensure that you do not undo all of your hard work, you must continue with the good eating / lifestyle habits that the balloon has helped you to achieve whilst implanted. You may have questions / concerns about how to maintain these changes and this is completely natural. Your gastric balloon package includes aftercare for a further 6 - 12 months (depending on balloon type) after removal for this reason and we are here to help and support you and answer any questions:

Telephone support

We are still available by phone or email for advice, and we are happy to arrange regular calls or drop-in weighing appointments to help you. We are here to help whenever you need us so whatever your question, please call us on 0121 693 4488

  • Our Patient Care team can answer general questions regarding your booking or making appointments

  • Our Bariatric Nurses can answer medical questions

Facebook support forum

If you didn't join this group when your balloon was implanted, you may want to consider joining now. This secret group is for Healthier Weight patients only and is a great source of support, advice and motivation from people who have been through the same experience. It is a great place to share your questions, feelings, successes (and struggles) in total confidence.

Note: this is a secret group so posts will not show in your timeline and your membership to the group will not be visible to anyone.

You will receive another email invitation to join the group following your removal procedure. This email invite will come from facebook so please check your junk / clutter folders if you can't find it in your inbox. If you don't receive it within 3 days of your procedure, please call us.

There are two steps in this pre-procedure assessment, both of which are required to enable your procedure to go ahead:
  • Telephone assessment - you will receive a telephone call from one of our Bariatric Nurses to complete a pre-procedure admission assessment, similar to the call you received before your implantation. This information is essential to complete your booking and allow hospital admission.

  • Hospital assessment - you may also be given an appointment to attend for a medical assessment, usually at the hospital at which your procedure will take place. At this appointment, bloods will be taken and a general medical screening will be undertaken to discuss medical history, medication etc and to take readings such as height, weight and blood pressure.



Going to hospital
The gastric balloon removal procedure is in many ways very similar to the implantation procedure so you will be familiar with what to expect. The following is a list of questions that have have been frequently asked by patients in the past but if your question is not listed here or you want any further information, please call us on 0121 693 4488

Can I eat or drink before my procedure?

It is important that you follow these instructions prior to the removal of your balloon. Non-compliance may result in a failed procedure, thus requiring it to be repeated at a later date, with associated additional costs

  • You will be asked to drink hot or cold clear liquids ONLY for TWO days prior to the procedure. This includes squash, Bovril, consommé (clear soups), water, black tea and coffee

  • Do not drink milk based products, thick or lumpy soups or smoothies

  • Drinking fizzy drinks and pineapple juice will also help to clean the balloon surface

  • Do not eat or drink anything within 12 hours of your procedure
    • Morning Procedure -You must remain nil by mouth (nothing to eat or drink) from midnight before your procedure
    • Late Afternoon Procedure - Liquids only from midnight until 5am on the day of the procedure and then nil by mouth (nothing to eat or drink) from 5am until the time of explantation


I haven’t received admission information. What time do I come in?
You will receive communication from the hospital at which you are due to have your procedure, which will provide an admission time. If you have not received this letter within three days of your procedure, call the team on 0121 693 4488.

Do I take my medication on the day of my procedure?
You will be asked to take your regular medication on the day of your procedure (with a very small amount of liquid). However, some medication may require specific management and you will be advised about this before admission. In some circumstances (e.g. if you are diabetic) you may be asked to attend hospital in advance of your procedure for tests and to adjust your medication.

What do I need to take to hospital?

  • Regular medication in its original packaging    
  • Your continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) machine if you use one
  • A dressing gown and slippers

What happens when I’m admitted?
You will be taken to the ward where the nursing staff will complete the standard admission forms and carry out baseline observations (pulse, temperature, blood pressure etc.). You will be seen by your consultant who will go through the consent form with you. This is to confirm your understanding of the procedure, together with the risks and benefits. If you have any concerns or questions, please ensure you raise these with your consultant before signing the consent form.

Do I need someone to take me home?
After sedation we ask you not to drive or operate machinery within 72 hours. If you have driven to the hospital, please ensure there is someone to drive you home. Please be aware that if you choose to drive despite this advice, your car insurance company may not cover accidents that occur during this time.

I have received a bill from the hospital. What do I do?
If you have received a bill from the hospital which you are not expecting, please contact the Healthier Weight Administration Team immediately on 0121 693 4488. In most cases you should not receive a bill for anything that has been included in your procedure package. In very rare occasions this may happen and if so please accept our apologies. Extras such as newspapers, visitors’ meals etc. are not included in the package.


Nutritional advice

The weeks following the removal of your gastric balloon are crucial for your long term weight loss – you should view this time as equally, if not more important than the first weeks after implantation in terms of being on top of your calorie intake and expenditure. It’s now time to protect the weight loss you have achieved so far!

You should aim to maintain your weight in the first few weeks and allow yourself time to adjust to not having the balloon. Once you have achieved this you can then start to make the necessary changes which will allow you to lose more weight if you wish. It can take a surprisingly short amount of time for old habits to return and for the weight to start going up again – make sure this doesn’t happen to you! Learn how to self-regulate – only eat if you are hungry.

  • Concentrate on whole grains, lean meats, fish, fresh fruit & vegetables

  • Avoid concentrated sugars and fats and high calorie liquids

  • BE VIGILANT – calories can creep in and sabotage your weight loss

  • Avoid snacking on energy dense foods – snacks should be low in fat and high in protein

  • Use a 7 inch side plate to keep portion size correct and use a teaspoon and small knife and fork to keep mouthful size small

  • Chew thoroughly – use your timer, do not eat for any longer than 20-30 minutes

  • Stay active. Regular physical activity is crucial for weight management

  • STOP eating when you are no longer hungry. You do not need to feel full

  • Contact us for personal advice. This is a time of adjustment and we can provide support

  • You should aim to consume 850-1200 calories per day

  • ALWAYS complete a daily food and activity diary

  • Continue to take a multi vitamin supplement 

  • If you're hungry, make sure you choose larger volumes of very healthy foods rather than smaller volumes of unhealthy foods. Or you could try adding protein by increasing the amount of low-fat dairy in your daily diet or by adding a protein supplement powder, found in health food shops 

Sample menu



  • 150 - 200ml decaffeinated tea or coffee / unsweetened juice / water


  • 1 Weight to Go shake blended with 80g fruit into a smoothie
  • 2 Weetabix / 30g wholewheat muesli served with 200ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 wholemeal toast with low fat spread


  • 200ml fluids such as water, tea, coffee, herbal teas, low-calorie cordial (no fizzy drinks)
  • Small glass of fresh fruit juice or fruit smoothie
  • Small handful of dried apricots or mangoes
  • 1 portion of fresh fruit (e.g. 1 apple or 2 plums
  • Raw nuts (e.g. 14 cashews, 17 almonds, 24 peanuts or 38 pistachios
  • 4-5 chunks of fruit with sugar-free jelly
  • 4 small low-fat salt and vinegar rice cakes
  • Low fat yogurt or Muller rice pot


  • 1 Weight to Go shake
  • 1 can low-calorie soup with a pitta bread
  • ½ can tuna and salad in a tortilla wrap
  • 2 wholemeal toast with ½ can low sugar baked beans


  • 200ml decaffeinated tea or coffee
  • Low-fat smoothie
  • Low-fat yogurt


  • 1 Weight to Go shake
  • 200ml decaffeinated tea or coffee or water
  • Fruit such as a handful of grapes / 1 small banana / 1 apple / 2 satsumas
  • Small handful of mixed dried fruit, seeds and raw nuts
  • Cereal bar


  • 1 Weight to Go meal served with 80g veg
  • 150g grilled white fish / skinless chicken breast / beans and pulses / Quorn served with crunchy steamed veg and a side salad with a low-fat dressing
  • 75g pasta / couscous served with 75g chicken breast, 150g roasted vegetables, ½ tin chopped tomato, basil, garlic & onion

  • 1 Weight to Go hot chocolate shake
  • Low calorie Ovaltine or hot chocolate drink
  • 5-6 dried apricots


Balloon removal - correct portion sizes

Whilst your gastric balloon was implanted, it should have helped you to rethink your portion sizes. Now that the balloon has been removed, it is really important that you continue to monitor your portions in the same way and do not revert to bad habits. Here are our top ten techniques for managing portion sizes

  1. Meet yourself half-way – decrease the portion size of your favourite food by half

  2. Ask for a doggie bag when eating out - you've paid for it after all so restaurants should be happy to help. Then enjoy what's left another day

  3. Steer clear of meal deals – it may seem like a good deal but it means upgrading your meal size

  4. Avoid mega packs or multi deals (BOGOF etc) – only buy what you need. If it's there you'll eat it!

  5. Get to know standard serving sizes – learn the size of a controlled portion by measuring the food out

  6. Avoid buffets – it's impossible to practice portion control in an “all you can eat” situation

  7. Say yes to the salad bar – eat before your dinner to curb your appetite and give you a feeling of fullness earlier

  8. Don't leave long gaps between meals/snacks  - never get so hungry that you lose control of your portion intake

  9. Keep seconds out of sight – dish up your meal onto a plate in the kitchen rather than from an open platter at the table

  10. Treat yourself occasionally – a little bit of what you fancy can do you good! Long term deprivation may lead to overeating
Getting active after surgery

If you want to maintain your weight loss or continue to lose weight, you are going to have to be physically active but this doesn't mean you have to rush out and join a gym. In fact a recent report suggests that more than 500,000 people waste about £200 million on gym membership each year. In January (full of good intentions) millions of us make promises to lose weight and get fit, but the vast majority of us do very little about it apart from parting with our hard earned cash.

Part of the problem we face today surrounds the time pressures that most of us have to contend with. What we need is a way of incorporating physical activity into our everyday lives, which is precisely why walking is such a great option. Whether you want to walk to maintain or accelerate your weight loss or just to improve your general health and fitness, regular walking can help. You should be aiming to do at least 10,000 steps a day.

Top Ten Tips for including activity without exercising

It's easy to get switched off when we think we have to exercise. After all, exercise sounds like hard work and conjours up humiliating memories of lycra, red faces, sweaty encounters and aching limbs! But it doesn't have to be that way. There are many sneaky ways of increasing your activity without you realising and even turning physical activity into a social event.

  1. Take a lunch break walk - it's good for weight loss, clears your head and is a great energy boost (avoids the 2pm slump!)

  2. Always use the stairs – never the lift

  3. Ditch the remote and get up to change channels on the TV the old fashioned way

  4. Plan a walking meeting

  5. Park further from the shop/office - don't drive around the car park to find the nearest space, park as far away as you can

  6. Get off the bus/train a stop or two before your destination and walk the rest of the way

  7. Use the toilet that's furthest away from your office

  8. Walk the dog - they'll love you for it

  9. Go for an evening walk with your spouse, partner or friend

  10. Walk during TV advert breaks - this is very effective. If each break is about 3 minutes and you walk at about 110 steps/min, you will get 330 steps each break. Do this five times per night and that's an extra 1650 steps/day!

Walking is a natural, safe, convenient and effective form of physical activity for both weight loss and general health. Importantly, it’s an activity which can easily be incorporated into our activities of daily living at no cost. This is much more effective for weight loss than relying on intermittent trips to the gym!

 If you have any questions at all, please contact us on 0121 693 4488

Got a question? Call our team today on 0121 693 4488
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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for each individual. As such, Healthier Weight cannot guarantee specific weight loss goals.