The Intragastric Balloon: A Revolutionary Option for Weight Loss

Intragastric Balloon

Gastric balloon surgery, also known as intragastric balloon placement, offers an innovative weight-loss option to individuals looking to shed 90-120 lbs before considering bariatric surgery.

Originating as a non-surgical solution to obesity in animals, this innovative weight loss tool offers effective results with minimal risks and side effects compared to traditional bariatric surgery procedures.

This article outlines various balloon types, procedure benefits, risks, potential side effects, and their aftercare impacts on life.

What is an intragastric balloon?

It is a small device placed in the stomach to help lose weight; it gives patients a feeling of fullness and causes them to consume fewer calories. The balloon is silicone and safe for prolonged use inside the body. 

Who is the candidate for the intragastric balloon?

candidate for intragastric balloon

Gastric balloon suitability depends on several criteria, including age between 18 and 65, good dental health, normal kidney and liver functions, no diabetes or high blood pressure conditions, and a BMI of 30 or greater. Pregnant individuals or those diagnosed with certain cancers are not advised to use one.

Successful balloon weight loss requires cutting calories; therefore, this may not be suitable if you plan to maintain current eating habits. After deflating the balloon, make changes in diet and exercise to reach your ideal weight goal.

If you need to know whether you are a good candidate for a weight loss balloon procedure or have more questions about other procedures, we offer a free consultation on WhatsApp.

What are the different gastric balloon types?

Several types of intragastric balloons are available, each with features and characteristics. Here are some of the different types of balloons:

  1. Saline-Filled Balloons: These are the most common. They’re made of soft silicone and filled with sterile saline solution in the stomach.
  2. Gas-Filled Balloons (Air-Filled): These are newer and use harmless gases like nitrogen or carbon dioxide for inflation. They may have advantages like easier insertion and removal.
  3. Dual Balloons: Comprising two separate balloons connected by a small tube, dual balloons provide stability, reduce the risk of movement, and mimic the stomach’s shape for improved weight loss.
  4. Adjustable Balloons: These newer balloons can be filled or deflated with saline using a self-sealing valve, offering flexibility in achieving optimal weight loss.
  5. Elipse Balloon: Unique and non-invasive, it’s a swallowable gas-filled balloon that doesn’t require endoscopy or anesthesia for placement or removal. It naturally deflates and passes through the digestive system after several months.

How do you prepare for the intragastric balloon?

prepartion for gastric balloon

Before having surgery, lifestyle modifications can help your overall health improve significantly. 

Here are a few pre-operation tips that may help you to lose weight more rapidly while decreasing complications related to it: 

  1. Maintain a balanced diet with proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables, avoiding sugary and high-calorie foods.
  2. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine.
  3. Stay adequately hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water daily.
  4. Prioritize quality sleep for your overall well-being.
  5. Manage stress to support weight loss and overall health.
  6. Undergo a thorough preoperative evaluation, including medical history, physical examination, and tests, to assess suitability for the procedure and identify underlying conditions.

Read also: Gastric Sleeve Diet.

How is gastric balloon surgery performed?

Here’s a general overview of how it is performed:

  1. Perform the procedure under general anesthesia with the patient asleep.
  2. Insert a flexible endoscope with a camera through the mouth to the stomach.
  3. Guide a deflated silicone balloon into the stomach using the endoscope.
  4. Inflate the balloon with saline solution to the required volume.
  5. Confirm proper placement and make adjustments if necessary.
  6. Complete the procedure by detaching the filling tube and removing the endoscope. It typically takes about 30 minutes, and patients can go home the same day. They receive dietary instructions and have follow-up appointments for monitoring and support.

Intragastric Balloon procedures at the best prices

Packages include medical fees, Hospital accommodation, airport transfers, and personal host.

Intragastric balloon recovery?

  • Immediate return to work and normal daily activities for most patients after intragastric balloon procedure
  • Common side effect: Mild stomach discomfort
  • Discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications.
  • Caution is needed in the first few days to avoid overexertion, which can increase the risk of bleeding and infection.

Intragastrical balloon side effects

Intragastric balloons are medical devices used for weight loss and have common side effects such as:

  • Common side effects may include:
    1. Nausea and vomiting
    2. Abdominal pain or discomfort
    3. Acid reflux or heartburn
    4. Gastric ulcers
    5. Bloating and gas
  • Less common but serious side effects can occur:
    1. Balloon deflation or migration
    2. Intestinal obstruction
    3. Pancreatitis
    4. Allergic reactions to balloon materials

intragastric balloon results

At Hayatmed Clinic in Turkey, the intragastric balloon procedure delivers remarkable results. Patients undergo a minimally invasive treatment that involves placing a balloon in the stomach to aid weight loss. 

This approach has garnered attention for its effectiveness in jumpstarting healthier lifestyles. Under the expert care of skilled surgeons, patients experience significant weight reduction, often achieving life-changing results. 

The combination of world-class medical facilities, affordable pricing, and experienced professionals at Hayatmed Clinic has made it a sought-after destination for those seeking transformative intragastric balloon treatments, with numerous success stories and positive reviews attesting to its excellence.

Weight Loss before and After

Intragastric Balloon procedures at the best prices

Packages include medical fees, Hospital accommodation, airport transfers, and personal host.

What is the Intragastric Balloon cost?

Neck Lift cost

Gastric balloon costs vary based on location, clinic, surgeon, and balloon type. Turkey is known for affordable, high-quality plastic surgery, with intragastric balloon prices ranging from $1,800 to $3,000. In the UK, it’s £4,000 to £8,000; in the USA, it’s $6,000 to $12,000 for the initial procedure. Insurance doesn’t typically cover this cosmetic procedure. If it leads to significant weight loss, Gastric Sleeve Turkey Istanbul can be an option, often covered by health insurance.

Read also: Weight Loss Balloon Cost

HayatMed Clinic, located in Istanbul/Turkey, is highly experienced in performing plastic surgery with satisfactory results and affordable cost, according to patients’ evaluations.

Surgical gastric procedures VS. non-surgical gastric procedures

Surgical and non-surgical gastric procedures offer two distinct approaches for managing stomach function and weight management issues. Here is an overview of their key differences:

AspectSurgical Gastric ProcedureNon-Surgical Gastric Procedure
DefinitionInvasive surgery to alter stomach size/function.Non-invasive methods for weight loss.
TypesGastric bypass, sleeve, banding.Balloon, aspiration, botox.
Procedure Duration1-3 hours, under general anesthesia.Short, outpatient.
AnesthesiaGeneral anesthesia.Local or sedation.
Incisions and ScarringMultiple with scarring.None, no scarring.
Hospital Stay1-3 days.None.
Recovery Time2-6 weeks.Minimal.
Weight Loss ResultsSignificant weight loss.Moderate weight loss.
Potential Risks and ComplicationsInfection, bleeding, nutritional issues.Nausea, discomfort, deflation.
Long-Term Success RateGenerally high, with lifestyle changes.Requires lifestyle changes for long-term success.
Eligibility CriteriaHigh BMI or health issues.For those not needing surgery.
CostHigher cost due to surgery and hospital stay.Generally lower cost compared to surgery.

Read also: Gastric Sleeve Vs. Bypass

Conclusion

The intragastric balloon is a minimally invasive weight loss solution implemented by implanting a silicone balloon into the stomach.

Gastric balloon surgery offers non-invasive weight loss that’s temporary and reversible – patients considering it must consult medical professionals first to discuss all associated risks and benefits before proceeding with any plans to undergo it. While gastric balloon procedures may provide short-term solutions, sustained results require comprehensive weight loss programs with lifestyle modifications in place.

Frequently Asked Questions

The intragastric balloon has gained popularity among individuals looking to lose weight because it has many advantages, such as:

  • Non-Surgical Option: Weight loss balloons offer a non-surgical alternative to traditional methods like gastric bypass or sleeve surgery, making it suitable for those wary of invasive procedures.
  • Less Invasive: These balloons are inserted through the mouth via endoscopy into the stomach, a simpler process with fewer risks and a quicker recovery than surgery.
  • Removable: Intragastric balloons are temporary devices, typically used for around six months, appealing to patients who prefer not to alter their digestive system permanently.
  • Non-Restrictive Diet: Unlike some surgical weight loss procedures with strict dietary restrictions, gastric balloons allow for a relatively normal diet. However, they promote portion control and mindful eating, encouraging better long-term dietary habits.

With the gastric balloon, patients can achieve rapid weight loss, typically around a pound per day, as it increases feelings of fullness, leading to reduced calorie intake. 

After balloon removal, some weight regain is expected, but maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is crucial to sustaining lower weight. 

It’s essential to understand that the intragastric balloon isn’t a “magic solution” but a tool for optimal results combined with a healthy lifestyle.

Intragastric balloon therapy has been found to cause significant weight loss for some patients and improve metabolic health, with reduced blood pressure, improved blood sugar levels, and lower levels of triglycerides being seen by some device users.
These improvements may help patients avoid or postpone bariatric surgery and other invasive weight loss methods.

Does an intragastric balloon lead to death?
Intragastric balloons are generally considered safe, but serious complications have been rare, including death. Such complications include balloon deflation, migration, perforation, and pancreatitis.
Though risks associated with intragastric balloon use tend to be low, discussing potential risks with your doctor before beginning any procedures is essential for optimal health outcomes.

Intragastric balloons should be combined with a comprehensive diet and lifestyle program supervised by the medical team. Diet plans can differ depending on the device used and recommendations from the healthcare team.
In general, weight-loss balloon treatments involve following a strict low-calorie diet to help patients shed unwanted pounds while the balloon remains in place.

Intragastric balloons that have received FDA approval for use in the US have undergone clinical trials and met safety and effectiveness standards set by the agency, making these devices highly reliable treatment options. Selecting a device with FDA certification should be your top priority when considering this treatment option.

Insurance coverage for intragastric balloons varies widely depending on your insurance provider and policy; while some plans may cover it, others may not.
Contact your insurance provider and discuss the specific details of your policy to determine whether it covers intragastric balloon placement.

Removing an intragastric balloon is usually a straightforward outpatient procedure performed using endoscopic methods, where a thin, flexible tube equipped with a camera is inserted through the mouth into the stomach via endoscopy.
Doctors typically administer sedation or anesthesia during this procedure to ease discomfort.

Intragastric balloons are inserted during a minimally invasive procedure known as endoscopy. Here are the general steps involved:

You will be given a sedative or anesthesia to make you comfortable during the procedure.
A thin, flexible tube (endoscope) with a camera and a deflated balloon is passed through your mouth and into your stomach.
The balloon is inflated with saline solution, expanding to occupy your stomach.
Once inflated, the balloon is securely positioned in the stomach.
The procedure typically takes around 20 to 30 minutes.

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This article was Medically reviewed by Dr. Hakan Evrüke

About the author

Picture of Zeyna Aslan
Zeyna Aslan

Zeyna Aslan, a medical writer at Hayatmed Clinic, brings 13 years of experience in the field. She excels in creating clear, engaging content that educates and informs. Zeyna's expertise spans across plastic surgery and hair transplant procedures. Her work helps potential patients understand their options and make informed decisions. At Hayatmed Clinic, Zeyna's dedication to quality content plays a vital role in converting visitors into satisfied patients. see profile on linkedin

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