Gastric Balloon

A vital part of considering surgery is understanding the ins and outs of each weight loss method, looking into having a Gastric Balloon fitted allows for you to familiarise yourself with the procedure, as well as its benefits, results and risks.

What is a Gastric balloon?

As the Gastric balloon procedure is not completed like the majority of weight loss procedures under a general anaesthetic it is often considered as the weight loss procedure with the least risk. A balloon will be fitted into your stomach through your oesophogus the balloon is then filled with either air or a sterile liquid. The balloon is usually left inside the stomach for a 6 month period. After the 6 months you will have to go back to the clinic to have the balloon removed, this is performed in a similar way to the installation, the balloon will be deflated and then removed through the throat. It may sound like a uncomfortable procedure, but often numbing spray will be used to ensure that the patient feels no pain or discomfort.

How does it work?

The idea of a gastric balloon is simple, as you have something placed inside of the stomach you will lose the feeling of hunger which you may have experienced in the past. As this feeling is reduced the balloon is sort of used as a device to help you to learn what, when and how much should be eaten. It is found that after the balloon is removed, as you have stuck to such a strict diet for a long period of time you will therefore continue to eat much healthier.

Benefits of the balloon

As the procedure is not completed under anaesthetic there are less risks associated with the procedure, as they are fitted for up to 6 months it can be seen as a temporary measure which can often kick start your lifestyle change. Many people find that during the 6 months in which they have a balloon fitted they are able to lose between 2 and 4 stone, and that this makes them more inclined to continue on with the weight loss once the balloon has been removed. This motivation leads to a much healthier and satisfactory lifestyle, as peoples’ confidence is often improved as well as their medical health and overall opinion of themselves.

Things for consideration

You should consider that there are some risk factors associated with the procedure, as there is with the majority of surgery. You may experience some discomfort during the installation and removal, the balloon can sometimes leak or deflate which can cause infection or obstruction within the digestive system. These complications will of course have a solution through additional surgery or medical procedures. You should always research as thoroughly as possible into the options available to you, if you feel that a gastric balloon will be beneficial to your lifestyle and you are classed as clinically obese then you should perhaps take a trip to your GP who will be able to advise you in a much more personal manner what kind of options are safe and available for you.

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