More and more people prefer the gastric balloon to having full surgery. While this makes sense, it is still important that you learn exactly what this balloon actually is, how it works, and whether it is right for you. The following information aims to lift some of that veil.


What Is the Gastric Balloon?

Very simply put, the gastric balloon is a non-permanent, non-surgical medical weight loss device. When in place, it makes you feel full, even after you only eat a little bit. This also means that you are less likely to be hungry, as well as forcing you to eat smaller portion sizes. As such, it is the perfect tool to help you begin your weight loss journey and, hopefully, encourage you to stay on the right path, even after you have lost the weight. To achieve this, you have to make sure that you change your diet and exercise habits as well, allowing you to quickly lose weight and keep the weight off. The balloon itself is made from a soft silicon material and it is inserted into the stomach using an endoscopic tube. The balloon, once inflated with a saline solution, takes up a lot of space in the stomach, meaning you will feel full.

How Does the Procedure Work?

The gastric balloon is placed into your stomach in a deflated state, using an endoscopic tube that goes from the mouth into the stomach, passing the esophagus. The endoscope is very thing and flexible, and a camera and light are attached to the other end, so that the surgeon can see exactly what they are doing. You might be given a light anesthetic to reduce discomfort. It generally takes just 15 minutes to complete the procedure and you will be able to return home straight afterwards.

The balloon should stay in place for about six months. After that, it is drained from the saline solution and removed. The balloon cannot stay in place for longer because it might deteriorate. In the six months, most people lose between 20% and 30% of their excess weight, although this does vary depending on how well they follow their physician’s advice.

A New Technique

The gastric balloon has been around for a while, and a new technique is now being developed involving a pill. Basically, you simply swallow the balloon that has a thin tube attached, through which it is inflated using gas, rather than a saline solution. You can have three balloons at the same time in this way, and they stay in place for 12 weeks.

Is it Right for You?

The balloon is considered suitable for those who are too heavy to undergo surgery, or who are too light to be a suitable candidate for gastric surgery. It is not a quick and easy way to lose weight for someone who just wants to shape up in time for summer, however. Do speak to a physician to see if you are a suitable candidate.