Gastric Balloon Aftercare & Recovery

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Once you have had a gastric balloon fitted it is found that your aftercare and actions are just as important as the procedure itself, they will influence how fast you recover as much as how much weight you lose. You should ensure that you are ready and willing to change your lifestyle and that you have as much motivation as possible as well as a tight support group around you. You will be offered specialist support from your clinic and you should also ensure that you have support of the people around you, this will in the long run help with those times when you may lack motivation or when you are feeling slightly down, people are there to help you and don’t forget that.

The recovery period

As the gastric balloon procedure is different to other weight loss surgeries, the recovery period is much less. You will be required to stay usually 1 to 2 days in hospital following the surgery; this will give you the opportunity to take prescribed pain relief if you need it as well as to receive any advice needed from specialist team members. Most people take around 1 weeks holiday off work, and find that they are able to go back and perform light duties for the first few days, obviously everyone is different and different patients jobs will require them to undergo different responsibilities, only you can judge this and you may wish to take an extended amount of time off just to ensure your full recovery. Following the procedure you will only be able to sip small amounts of liquids as well as consume small amounts of food you will receive assistance with this and over time will become used to the smaller intake of fluids and liquids.

After my discharge from hospital what support will I have?

You will receive support from the hospital in a variety of forms, depending on what type of aftercare plan you have, most will offer you services from:

  • A surgeon – to assist with procedure support.
  • Specialist Nurses – to assist with medical advice and follow up appointments.
  • Dieticians – to draw up a realistic diet plan and offer you the support needed to keep you following it.
  • Psychiatrists – to offer you support with your lifestyle change, and any help you might need if you’re struggling.
  • Exercise Specialist – to help draw up an exercise regime which you will stick to and to offer advice with anything you might find difficult.

If you have had surgery abroad you should determine how this aftercare team will help you when you are back in the UK, some clinics have a representative institution within the UK that you can visit for advice, whereas others only offer a phone service. Ensure you know what aftercare you will be receiving before you go ahead with any surgery. As well as support from specialists you should make sure that you have support from your friends and family, this is because not all specialist teams are available instantly and there may be a wait before you can make an appointment to see them, you should seek help from friends and family if you can just to make your support group much tighter and more effective, don’t worry however if you don’t have their support the specialist team will ensure that they provide you with the best service possible.

Removal of the balloon

After around 6 months you will need to return to the clinic to have the balloon deflated and removed, during that 6 months you should be attending regular follow up appointments with your clinic, this will ensure that there is a reduced risk of any complications occurring. The balloon will be deflated and removed via the mouth, and again it is rare that this procedure will cause complication. You may experience similar discomfort like what you experienced when the balloon was fitted, but your specialist team will be on hand to assist in this. You will be offered a range of aftercare programs once the balloon has been removed and you will often be covered for a certain period of time, you will need to attend regular follow up appointments to determine your progress and recovery from this surgery.

Life after the removal

Many individuals find tat even when the balloon is removed they are able to continue along their weight loss program, with a healthy balanced diet and following the exercise regime they followed whilst having the balloon. Many people find that having a balloon fitted helps teach them portion control, and that they weight they lose will stay off as they continue to follow advice given to them by their specialist team. If the balloon was part of a 2 part surgery and you are down to a lower BMI which is acceptable for a different weight loss surgery such as a gastric bypass or a duodenal switch procedure you should follow advice given to you by the clinic, and pay a trip to your GP who may refer you onto an NHS clinic, or you can again go private or abroad for the second procedure.

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