Intragastric Balloon Endoscopy

The balloon partially fills the stomach and limits food intake. Patients report that they have an enduring feeling of satiety. The procedure does not require surgery and is done in a day-care setting.

The gastric balloon consists of soft, well-tolerated silicone that is filled with a sterile saline solution (salt water). The filled gastric balloon creates a sense of satiety. The balloon is generally removed after a maximum of six months.

Once the balloon is in place, you’ll receive diet and exercise coaching from a team of experts—which may include a dietitian, psychologist, and exercise physiologist—to help keep you motivated, provide advice, coordinate your program, and help you work through weight loss barriers to meet your long-term weight loss goals. Your coaching continues even after the balloon is removed at six months for a total of 12 months.

Advantages

  • it is a non-surgical and non-pharmacological approach
  • does not permanent alter your digestive anatomy
  • insertion of the balloons is completed in about 20 minutes, with no hospital stay
  • better weight loss on average than with other diet programs
  • the patient is supported by a team of medical experts
  • the patient learns how to sustain weight loss

FAQ

How is the balloon inserted into the stomach?

The unfilled gastric balloon is inserted into the stomach through the mouth and esophagus with the aid of an endoscopic camera. The physician will advise you whether the procedure should be conducted under local or general anesthesia. Using a fluid supply tube, the gastric balloon is then filled and the tube removed. The insertion of the gastric balloon takes between 20 to 30 minutes. You will be able to return home after an appropriate period of recovery.

How long will the gastric balloon remain in the stomach?

A maximum of six months.

How is the gastric balloon removed from the stomach?

An endoscopic camera is once again introduced into the stomach through the esophagus. The gastric balloon is then punctured, deflated, grasped with forceps and pulled out through the mouth.

How much weight will I lose?

You can lose between 15 and 25 kg. Essentially, weight loss depends on your discipline and the extent to which you adhere to the diet.

What side effects might be associated with gastric balloon insertion?

The most likely complaints are vomiting and nausea, which may occur during the early stages. Please consult your treating physician about any risks involved.

What happens after implantation?

After IGB placement, the patient must follow special diets while the stomach is adjusting to having the balloon or balloons in place.

What is the standard medication that I will take after the operation?

Proton pump inhibitor to reduce stomach acid.

How long must I wait before resuming physical activity after the operation?

Three weeks after operation – 3 hours of physical activity per week but under medical advice.

Am I a candidate for the intragastric balloon?  Successful candidates…

  • are at least 30 pounds overweight
  • are willing to participate in a medically supervised weight loss program
  • have not had previous weight loss surgery
  • are not binge (volume) eaters
  • do not have poorly-stabilized diabetes type II
  • do not have heartburn symptoms when taking heartburn medications
  • have attempted weight-loss through diet and exercise without success
  • have not been diagnosed with ulcers in the stomach or small intestines
  • have not been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • have not been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease
  • have not had previous surgeries in the small intestine or stomach (except an uncomplicated appendectomy surgery)
  • are not on blood thinners
  • are at least 22 years old

Am I a candidate for endoscopic gastric bypass revision?   Successful candidates…

  • have regained 20% or more of the weight originally lost with bariatric surgery
  • are willing to participate in a medically supervised weight loss program