Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering a stomach balloon.
How It Works
During the procedure, an inflated balloon will be inserted through your mouth and expanded inside of your stomach. The balloon still leaves room for food, although the overall space in your stomach will be reduced once the balloon is in place.
Are You a Candidate?
Generally, you must be about 100 pounds beyond your ideal weight or have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more to be considered for this type of procedure. In addition to being at least 18 years of age, you must also have tried other methods of weight loss without success.
Prior to stomach balloon surgery, you will undergo a thorough medical exam and evaluation. You may be asked to start making dietary adjustments prior to the procedure so you can get used to the lifestyle changes you’ll need to make to enjoy long-term results. It’s also standard procedure to avoid eating or drinking 12 hours before the procedure.
How It’s Performed
A numbing medication, usually in the form of a spray, will be used to prepare your throat for the insertion of a scope and the balloon. The scope will provide a view of your stomach to ensure everything is fine prior to the insertion of the stomach balloon. After the scope is removed, the balloon will be inflated with air or saline.
The insertion of the stomach balloon is an outpatient procedure, as is the eventual removal of the balloon after six months. Most people fully recover from the surgery in 2-3 days.
What to Expect
Many patients who have this type of procedure lose about a third of their excess weight within six months, although individuals results may vary. You will be encouraged to stick to a healthy diet and get regular exercise to continue with your weight loss efforts after the balloon is removed.
Why Consider It?
The use of a stomach balloon for weight loss is considered a safe method for losing a significant amount of weight. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that’s also reversible. Risks are minimal and many patients report having a positive experience from the procedure. It can also be an effective way to encourage meaningful weight loss.
Your odds of achieving positive results with a stomach balloon procedure can increase if you follow the dietary suggestions and make appropriate lifestyle adjustments. Getting down to a healthy weight also means you’ll decrease your risk of developing heart disease and other health-related issues. You may also see improvements with existing conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.