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Gastric balloon

Gastric balloon

The gastric balloon procedure, or intragastric balloon procedure, is a weight loss procedure which will help the patient to reduce the amount of food which is eaten. It helps to stop feelings of hunger.
A silicone balloon which is deflated is placed inside the stomach using an endoscope. The balloon is filled with saline and will be left in the stomach for six months. While in the stomach it gives a feeling of fullness which will result in the patient eating less food and therefore losing weight.

This procedure is done under local anaesthetic and will provide the patient with swift short term weight loss. The balloon is entered into the stomach through the mouth and once placed in the stomach it is filled with saline. This procedure is sometimes used for a quick reduction of weight in extremely obese patients so that their weight can be reduced down to a level that will be safer for weight loss surgery.

A gastric balloon is used by surgeons in obese patients to monitor how they would be able to cope with surgical procedures such as a gastric bypass and a Roux-en Y gastric bypass. It is also used to help a surgeon monitor diabetes in the patient so that they can determine whether the Roux-en Y bypass would cure the diabetes. The gastric balloon can be inserted and withdrawn easily without causing much discomfort to the patient. Because the balloon is inflated in such a way that it occupies most of the stomach, the capacity to eat large amounts of food is dramatically reduced. It will stop overeating and will enable the patient to diet without having hunger pangs.

Gastric balloons are generally left in the stomach for between six and eight months. Sometimes the acidity in the stomach will weaken the material of the balloon and will cause it to deflate and be digested and eliminated from the body. To reduce this happening too soon, most doctors will recommend something to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. A coloured dye is placed in the balloon to help notify if the balloon has deflated or leaked. If the gastric balloon were to deflate too soon, then you would notice that your urine would be coloured. If this were to happen, the patient should contact their doctor straight away to ensure that the balloon has been digested by the body and has not become lodged somewhere.

A gastric balloon will be used to help aid weight loss by reducing the hunger felt by patients. It is meant to help reduce the amount eaten and should be used alongside an exercise regime to help produce the maximum benefits. Reducing food and making healthier food choices will help the patient make a significant weight loss.

It is important to note that the gastric balloon will more than likely cause feelings of nausea for a couple of days after it is placed in the stomach but this should pass once you have become used to it. This can be reduced by taking medication.

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