Gastric balloon was developed for weight loss in order to prepare super obese patients for surgery. However, it is a method that provides weight loss as an alternative to bariatric surgery for overweight and class 1 obese patients as well. Gastric balloon is made of silicone. After placement in the stomach, it can be inflated with air or blue saline up to 400 – 700 cc. When the gastric balloon is inflated, it provides a constant feeling of satiety. As a result, it causes less calorie intake and thus weight loss.
Gastric balloon is not a surgical operation. For this reason, it is one of the most preferred obesity treatments in recent years. The balloon causes the patient to change their eating habits. Since the patient eats less due to the feeling of fullness. The patients can lose 10 to 25 kilos between 6 months and 1 year.
There are 4 types of gastric balloons that are frequently used today:
- Swallowable: Previously known as the ‘Elipse Balloon’, the Allurion Balloon is a pill balloon capsule, which is swallowed under the guidance of our team without anaesthesia or endoscopy. The Balloon will be inflated in your stomach, checked using quick x-rays or CT and that’s all! The entire procedure takes approximately 15 minutes. Average loss is about 10-15% of your body weight in just 16 weeks. The pill balloon degrades and leaves the body naturally after 12-16 weeks.
- 6-month balloon(Medsil, Medicone, BariGlobe)
- 12-month non-adjustable balloon(Orbera)
- 12-month adjustable balloon(Spatz3)
The patient who is a gastric balloon candidate must have a body mass index of over 27 and the age is over 18.
Gastric Balloon Placement Technique:
The gastric balloon is placed in the stomach under general anesthesia with the endoscopic method except swallowable one. Initially, diagnostic endoscopy is performed. If the stomach is suitable for balloon placement, the balloon is pushed through the mouth and delivered to the stomach. Then endoscope is inserted again for checking the balloon in the stomach and is inflated with serum under direct vision. The procedure takes about 15-30 minutes. After the procedure, the patients are kept under observation in the hospital until they feel better, and then discharged.
How to Remove Gastric Balloon?
Gastric balloon is not a permanent procedure. The gastric balloon, except swallowable one, is removed(explanted) from the stomach endoscopically. Special explantation kits are used. The blue serum in the balloon is aspirated with a needle catheter and then removed orally with a grasper. The process takes about 15 minutes.