Gastric Balloon Surgery

What is Gastric Balloon?

Gastric balloon is a reversible, incision free weight loss procedure. Also, called the Intragastric Balloon, the concept is simple. A deflated soft silicone gastric balloon is inserted into the stomach via the mouth and filled with liquid or air, reducing the amount of food the stomach can hold and causing the patient to feel fuller faster. The balloon can be left in place for up to six months. Once removed, the stomach and sometimes the patient’s appetite will return to normal.

The procedure usually takes 20 to 30 minutes to perform. No overnight hospital stay is required. In fact, you can usually go home three hours after the balloon is inserted and inflated. Alo Bariatrics prefers the patient stay overnight in the hospital. Dr. Lopez will numb your throat with an anesthetic spray to allow for easier insertion of the deflated balloon. The balloon is inserted using tiny, endoscopic instruments, including a pencil-shaped probe with a tiny camera attached to it which helps Dr. Lopez to visualize the area. A small tube or catheter is attached to the balloon. He will then fill the balloon with approximately 400-700 ml of the saline solution or air and then remove the catheter. The balloon has a self-sealing valve. It floats freely inside the stomach. When full, the gastric balloon is too large to pass into the bowel.

Unlike with other weight loss surgeries which require a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, you only need a BMI of 27 or above to undergo the gastric balloon procedure. As a result, it is a weight loss option for lighter individuals who may not be candidates for other forms of bariatric surgery.