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Usage of a gastric balloon to reduce weight – Part 1

How does the intragastric balloon work?

• Once in place, the balloon is filled with a saline and partially fill the stomach.
• This helps a person to feel less hungry.
• Hence, it helps the person may consume smaller portions of food.
• This will give experience of a similar satisfaction to what they would have previously experienced after consuming a larger meal.

How is the gastric balloon procedure performed?

• The balloon is introduced into the stomach through the mouth without the need for surgery.
• The doctor inserts an endoscopic camera (gastroscope) into the stomach.
• If no abnormalities are observed, the balloon is placed through the mouth.
• It is then passed down the oesophagus into the stomach.
• Once inside the stomach, it is then filled with a sterile saline solution.
• This is filled through a small filling tube attached to the balloon.
• Once filled, the doctor removes the tube by gently pulling on the external end.
• Thus, leaving the balloon inside the stomach.
• This procedure is performed by a qualified specialist gastroenterologist alongside an anesthetist and trained nursing staff.
• Placement of the balloon takes approximately 20 minutes.
• After which patients are monitored by nursing staff in the recovery bay.
• As this is a “day-only” procedure, patients are generally discharged home within two hours after balloon insertion.

For who all the intra-gastric balloon suitable?

• The intragastric balloon is designed to assist with weight loss in people.
• This is for people who ideally have 10 to 30 kilograms of weight to lose.
• It is suitable for individuals with a BMI of 27 and greater.
• It is also used for people who are not suitable for other forms of weight loss surgery.
• The use of the Gastric Balloon may assist in reducing weight prior to surgery.
• Therefore, it reduces the risks associated with surgical procedures on overweight patients.

How long is does the Gastric Balloon stay in the stomach?

• The Gastric Balloon can be placed in the stomach for a six-month period.
• It is necessary that the balloon be replaced with a new one when the six-month interval has been met.
• This is in the case when your doctor recommend use of the balloon for longer than six months.

What happens if the gastric balloon deflates spontaneously?

• The doctor will place a coloured dye inside the balloon called Methlyene Blue.
• This will help you clearly identify early deflation or leakage.
• This means it will change the colour of your urine to green.
• Should this occur, you must notify the clinic immediately.
• This will help to have the balloon removed.

How will the intragastric balloon be removed?

• The intragastric balloon is removed in the same way it was placed.
• That is via the oesophagus and mouth.
• Using an endoscopic camera, the physician introduces a catheter through the mouth and into the stomach.
• The balloon is then punctured and deflated.
• Once the balloon is deflated it can be grasped and removed.

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