Gastric balloon is a generic term for a variety of different brands of non-surgical weight loss interventions, such as the Orbera Gastric Balloon system, that use one or more intragastric balloons in order to make it harder for patients to consume large amounts of food.
The gastric balloon is a different type of bariatric procedure. First of all, it doesn’t require any incisions and is an outpatient procedure in the majority of cases. Second, it’s temporary, meaning the balloons are removed after a certain period of time (usually six months). Third, it’s reversible, so if you’re having issues with the treatment you can simply have the balloon removed at any time.
Gastric balloon procedures are done under the guise of a surgeon, however it does not require incisions. The balloon is inserted through the mouth and is attached to a catheter tube. The surgeon then fills the balloon through the catheter with either a saline solution or air. Once the balloon is filled, it is sealed and the tube is removed. Some gastric balloon systems use multiple balloons, whereas the Orbera balloon uses a single one.
The balloon sits in the stomach and floats freely. Because of its size, it cannot pass through to the intestines and cannot be digested. This causes the patient to feel full, or at least not hungry, for most of the day. As a result, the patient does not feel a need to eat.
This procedure is unlike most bariatric procedures in that patients do not need to be obese in order to benefit from it. It’s a procedure that is approved for use in patients with a BMI of 27 or above, thus it makes a good option for those who want to lose a little bit of weight and stay healthy.
Studies have shown that patients will lose an average of 20 to 50 pounds of excess weight thanks to the gastric balloon. This makes the gastric balloon an excellent choice for those looking for a reversible or temporary weight loss intervention. We generally don’t recommend patients get a gastric balloon if they’re looking to maximize weight loss. Instead, we recommend patients choose gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass surgery, as they’re not only more effective but they’ve been proven to be safe and reliable.
The Orbera, Obalon, and ReShape gastric balloons are all FDA approved and have gone under separate controlled studies in order to get FDA approval. The Orbera and ReShape balloons were approved in 2015, and the Obalon was approved in 2016.
The gastric balloon in Mexico is a safe procedure, and it is safe to have in the stomach. Gastric balloons rarely rupture, and if they do, it’s highly unlikely to cause any harm to the patient. However, there have been a few instances of serious complications, such as hyperinflation and acute pancreatitis.
Gastric balloons are kept in the stomach for a six-month period, and are generally removed without replacing it. It’s a temporary weight loss solution for those who want to lose weight rapidly but don’t want to commit to bariatric surgery.
The price of a gastric balloon varies depending on which system you use. Overall, though, you need to consider the costs not only of getting the gastric balloon in, but taking it out as well. If you want a quote for a gastric balloon, simply call us at 844-461-2831!
The nice thing about the gastric balloon, compared to other bariatric procedures, is that your diet doesn’t need to be very restrictive. However, we do recommend that patients stay away from spicy foods, large amounts of alcohol or caffeine, and foods that are known by the patient to cause gastrointestinal distress.
Some insurance may cover gastric balloon procedures, as they’re a weight loss procedure and are covered under bariatric procedures. However, this may not apply to procedures done outside the United States. Check with your insurance provider to make sure that you’re able to apply your insurance to gastric balloon procedures.