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Everything You Need to Know About the Gastric Balloon

Medical Content Writer
Arzu Cetinkaya Medical Content Writer
Everything You Need to Know About the Gastric Balloon

Patients should not eat anything 8-12 hours before the procedure. The procedure takes about 10-15 minutes. Sedation is used so that the patient does not feel any discomfort during this process. First, an endoscopy is performed to assess the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. Then the gel-coated balloon is gently guided from the oesophagus to the stomach and inserted into the stomach under endoscopic control. The balloon in the stomach is inflated with serum via a special extension line and the procedure is completed.

After the procedure, patients are kept under observation for several hours, after which they are discharged. Patients do not have to stay in hospital. But in the later stages, it is extremely important that patients stay in constant contact with their doctor.

For whom is the gastric balloon suitable?

Adults between the ages of 18 and 65 with a body mass index between 30 and 40 who have not been able to lose weight through diet and exercise can receive a gastric balloon.

The method is used in the preoperative phase as a preparatory tool to reduce the risk of surgery and anaesthesia in morbidly obese patients. This method is preferred especially for patients for whom a surgical intervention is associated with risks.

Possible complaints after a gastric balloon

  • Increase in pre-existing reflux symptoms,
  • Bloating and discomfort in the upper abdominal area
  • Pressure-induced development of gastric ulcers
  • Nausea and vomiting

The most common complaints after a gastric balloon are nausea and vomiting. These complaints usually subside within 3-7 days. However, if vomiting persists, it may be necessary to continue treatment under medical supervision, and in rare cases it may even be necessary to remove the balloon in patients who cannot tolerate it. If the balloon used is an adjustable silicone balloon, the balloon can be reduced slightly to make this phase more comfortable. This makes it possible to reduce the discomfort.

The main problem with the gastric balloon is the risk of gaining weight again, as the narrowing of the stomach disappears after 6-12 months when the balloon is removed. Therefore, the patient should try to change their lifestyle from the time the balloon is inserted and follow the dietary programme agreed with the doctor. This makes the gastric balloon one of the treatment methods with the fewest side effects and risks for overweight patients.

For whom is the gastric balloon not suitable?

A gastric balloon should not be used in patients with

  • Gastritis, gastric ulcer
  • Previous stomach surgeries
  • Gastric hernia
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Blood clotting disorder