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Intragastric Balloon

Intragastric Balloon Procedure

Intragastric balloon is a gastric surgery device that is fitted inside the patient’s stomach to increase weight-loss. The intragastric balloon is proved to be a rapid, but long-term solution for obesity.

The intragastric balloon consists of a soft and expandable balloon made of silicone, placed inside the stomach through a camera entering from the mouth, just like in an endoscopy procedure. The empty device is inserted in the stomach and filled with a sterile saline solution. The procedure is commonly referred to as intragastric balloon procedure or intragastric balloon surgery.

Intragastric Balloon Surgery

When the patient is a candidate for weight-loss surgery and at the same time is not fit enough to have it performed, intragastric balloon procedure is necessary to reduce the candidate’s weight until he or she reaches a safe level for further obesity surgery.

Intragastric balloon surgery is also appropriate for surgeons who need to assess the need of candidates for a gastric bypass. Additionally, the surgeon needs to stabilize sugar levels of diabetic patients as a part of the surgery preparations.

Intragastric Balloon Procedure

As the intragastric balloon reduces the capacity of the stomach, it creates a feeling of fullness. Thus the patient does not feel desire for overeating and allows him or her to effectively diet.

A qualified gastroenterologist performs the intragastric balloon procedure along with the nursing staff and anesthesiologist. First, the balloon is introduced in the stomach without surgery. An endoscopic camera or gastroscope is inserted from the mouth. After confirmation that no abnormalities have been observed, the balloon goes down the esophagus and once inside the stomach, filled with the sterile saline through a filling tube. The tube is removed, leaving the balloon.

Intragastric balloon procedure takes around 20 minutes and the patient can leave the clinic after a few hours.

Some useful information concerning the use of the intragastric balloon:

  • The intragastric balloon can stay in the stomach up to 9 months.
  • The acidic content of the stomach weakens the balloon causing it to deflate.
  • Oral medication prescription from the physician is required to reduce the acid in the stomach, in order to reduce irritation and damage.
  • Get some help for the first few days while you get used to the intragastric balloon!