The intragastric balloon is a non-surgical, endoscopic weight-loss option for obese patients. If you have a body mass index [see our BMI calculator] of 30-40 and have failed to lose weight using other methods, this might be an ideal solution for you. Studies have shown that patients lose up to 3x the amount of weight they would from exercise and diet alone. Patients will typically lose between about 9-15kg), plus they will learn new eating and lifestyle habits at the same time.
At Novomed, our bariatric surgeon uses the world’s leading intragastric balloon system, the FDA-approved Orbera, which is durable and made from soft silicone. It is inserted and removed orally using an endoscope, meaning there are no incisions or scars, and it lasts for 6 months. The balloon is inflated in your stomach so it takes up space and encourages your body to adapt to smaller portion sizes.
As with all of our weight-loss options, we have a multidisciplinary team including a psychologist and dietitian to support you on your weight-loss journey. The Orbera is a two-step program – for the first six months with the balloon in place you lose a large amount of weight and learn portion-control skills, while for the next six months, post-removal, you get continued support to maintain your new lifestyle habits.
How it works
Some patients are not eligible for gastric balloons, for example, people with stomach ulcers, or women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to fall pregnant within six months. As a first step, therefore, our gastric surgeon will review your medical history and conduct a physical examination including a full upper endoscopy to check the health of your digestive tract and exclude H.pylori infection.(H.pylori is a type of bacteria that can live in your digestive tract and eventually lead to ulcers and even stomach cancer. This test is included on a complimentary basis as part of the balloon package.)
If you are found to be a suitable candidate, the approximately 20-minute procedure is done in-office, and most patients go home after a two-hour recovery period. The procedure starts with mild sedation, then the deflated gastric balloon is inserted through the esophagus and into your stomach. The balloon is then filled with a sterile saline solution using a syringe, until it is about the size of a grapefruit.
After six months, the balloon is removed, again using an endoscope.