10 top questions about gastric balloon procedure

weight loss

1. What is a gastric balloon procedure?

A gastric balloon procedure, also known as endoscopic intragastric balloon procedure, a small silicon balloon is inserted into the stomach for 6 months. The balloon filled with saline solution reduces the stomach capacity so it makes less room for food and the patient feels full and loses the urge to overeat.

2. What are the benefits of gastric balloon procedure?

  • * An average of 30% weight loss
  • * May improve some conditions related with overweight such a diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea, arthritis, joint/bone and  general cardiac health issues
  • * Fast recovery
  • * It is a non-surgical procedure
  • * Only a few diet restrictions
  • * It is a not invasive procedure
  • * It is temporary

3. Is this procedure painful?

This is a fast non-surgical procedure and is it done by inserting  an endoscope (a flexible tube that has a light and a camera) through the patient’s mouth while he is mildly sedated, so it is a little uncomfortable but not painful at all.

4. What to expect from the recovery?

The recovery is really fast, most patients go home on the same day and takes only three days for a full recovery.

5. Are there any side effects?

Some patients feel bloated after the procedure and experience some nausea, vomiting, or stomach cramps. Remember that the stomach and the body need time to adjust to the balloon.

6. Will the patient have to follow a diet after the procedure?

Yes, there is a strict three days of liquids only diet to follow after this procedure, usually followed by three to ten days of soft foods and small portions. After ten or fourteen days the patient will be able to gradually introduce foods of all textures. This always depends on each patient and their doctor recommendations.

There are also some tips to help the patient to lose weight faster like eating less liquid calories, reduce carbohydrate intake and improve his food habits and lifestyle including an exercise routine.

7. Is this procedure covered by insurance in the U.S.?

No, gastric balloon procedure is usually not covered by any  insurance in the U.S.

8. Who is a gastric balloon candidate?

The eligibility criteria may change a little at each clinic, but these are the most common requirements to be a good candidate.

  • * 22 years or older
  • * You can’t lose weight by dieting and exercising
  • * Having between 27 and 35 BMI (body mass index)
  • * Be ready to change your lifestyle

9. Is gastric balloon procedure reversible?

Yes, it is completely reversible, the balloon can be removed from the stomach in the same way it was placed.

10. Will the patient gain back weight after the balloon is removed?

Yes, once the balloon is removed the patient needs to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle otherwise he can gain weight again. The success of this procedure in long  terms depends completely on  the patient’s commitment with his health.


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