Gastric Balloon

Intragastric Balloon Procedure

Apart from surgical methods, there are many non-surgical options in the treatment of obesity for patients with weight problems. Among those options, the gastric balloon or intragastric balloon particularly reduces the risks of surgery for patients with morbid obesity. It is one of the most common non-surgical methods in the field of obesity in recent years. It has therefore become a hope for obesity patients with overweight.

In recent years, non-surgical techniques in the treatment of obesity have been yielding very effective results. The gastric balloon technique, which is one of these methods, comes to the rescue of those who have obesity problems. However, some experts state that one must be cautious after the operation.

Without surgery, the gastric balloon provides an average weight loss of 20-25 kg (45-55 lbs). However, you should watch your diet well after the balloon is extracted. Otherwise, weight gain is unavoidable.

One of the great advantages of the operation is that it does not require hospitalization. But keep in mind that this is not a permanent treatment. It is necessary to remove the balloon six months or a year after it is inserted.

How Does It Work?

Gastric balloon works by occupying a volume in the stomach, allowing people to eat fewer portions than standard diets and reach their ideal weight sooner. The aim is to enable the person to choose portions with high nutritional value but low calorie intake and turn this into a lifestyle that will meet their daily needs. Since the gastric balloon stays in the stomach for a long time such as 6-12 months, it becomes easier to adopt healthy and regular eating habits. In other words, you will have an excellent slimming effect.

Among medical methods in the treatment of obesity, procedures such as gastric banding were very successful for a long time. However, in the last five years, the gastric balloon has become more preferred.

Hundreds of studies have proven that successful weight loss is possible with the gastric balloon. The new generation of gastric balloons has therefore become an established treatment method throughout Europe.

How Is It Performed?

A gastric balloon is a silicone balloon that doctors insert into the stomach by endoscopy. Today, general surgeons perform gastric balloon procedure in the battle against obesity.

There are many gastric balloons on the market today. The two largest groups are serum or pneumatic. In general, they can withstand stomach acid for six months. As a result, all balloons create a saturating effect in the stomach and create a feeling of satiety. It also delays gastric emptying and reduces the feeling of hunger with the hormone Ghrelin.

With the help of a lighted camera called an endoscope, specialized doctors insert the gastric balloon into the stomach. This device is about 0.8-12 mm thick and flexible enough to pass easily through the esophagus. The whole procedure takes about 10 minutes. You will regain consciousness after the operation. You can leave the hospital after 1-2 hours of rest. You should not feel any discomfort in the postoperative period.

What Is the Gastric Balloon Pill? 

In this new weight-loss method, patients swallow the capsule, and then the capsule swells inside the stomach to revive the feeling of fullness. Obalon, which is a gastric balloon pill, is the most effective non-invasive method compared with other methods requiring surgery. The capsule takes up to 15 minutes to swallow like pills and swell like balloons.

The Obalon balloon is suitable for patients with a body mass index of at least 59 pounds per square meter, and you should make changes in your eating habits and lifestyle during use. After swallowing the gastric balloon, the stomach remains bloated for 6 months. In this period, you may take two additional balloons depending on the needs and the process.

According to the research, this gastric balloon is much smaller and lighter than others. It contains nitrogen instead of salt, so it stays on your stomach.

Gastric Balloon Efficiency

The balloon is a temporary solution for obesity. However, it is highly beneficial for the patients as it significantly reduces the risks of other diseases associated with obesity. The most important benefit is that it gives the patient enough time, such as six months, to acquire a new diet.

The balloon is not supposed to stay in the stomach for more than six months. In such cases, the silicone begins to deteriorate and it becomes difficult to remove it. It is worth repeating that in incompetent hands, serious complications can occur, such as perforation of the esophagus or stomach. While, in expert hands, these risks are close to zero.

Gastric Balloon Procedure in Turkey 

Obesity, which causes many psychological problems, is the disease of our age, where Turkey and the medical world are constantly looking for problems. Fast-food consumption, insulin resistance, a sedentary life, and irregular nutrition pave the way for obesity. Although patients try many diets to get rid of obesity, sometimes factors such as insulin resistance and drug use can lead to weight loss resistance, and losing weight is beyond dreams.

For a healthy life, getting rid of excess weight is very important because obesity brings many problems from cancer to multiple organ problems. Patients who cannot reach their desired weight as a result of sports or diet often have a fear of surgery and things become more complicated as this psychological condition causes them to gain more weight. The gastric balloon is one of the applications that help to lose weight fast. Turkey is one of the countries where you can see the successful operations of the gastric balloon.

In Turkey, obesity surgeons apply the gastric balloon method in Istanbul, and patients leave the facility beyond satisfied. The technique has become the first choice of the patients as it is a non-surgical and effective one. On the other hand, gastric balloon in Turkey is a fast and practical method is one of the most preferred ways in the treatment of obesity.

Gastric Balloon Costs 

First of all, you should know that the Ministry of Health prohibited to give prices for treatments like a gastric balloon on the Internet. However, to provide a piece of general information, there are too many factors affecting the gastric balloon costs as in the types of other obesity surgery. Since there are many and different quality gastric balloons in the market, prices are also variable. 

The variables such as the competence of the surgeon, the hospital and the material determine the price. The gastric balloon technique may increase costs. On the other hand, we can state that it is more economical than bariatric surgery. In this type of operations, procedure success is more important than the economic aspect. Thus, we recommend you to bear this in mind.

Results of Gastric Balloon Procedure 

This method allows an individual to lose 20-25% of their weight in six months. With the regular implementation of diet and exercise programs, you can lose up to 30-40 pounds. Weight loss and weight gain depend entirely on the individual’s motivation for a new lifestyle and his determination to change his eating habits. This means that you cannot lose weight even if the balloon is in your stomach. The patient should be willing and determined to change his eating habits and lifestyle.

The main mechanism of the balloon is to create a sense of saturation in the stomach and to limit food intake. Proper patient selection, appropriate dietetic and behavioural treatment are critical points in the success of the balloon. However, there is no guarantee that you can lose weight. 

The balloon is most effective for the first 3-4 months. A decrease in appetite and discomfort in excess food intake are evident in this period. Strict compliance with the nutrition program is essential. Numerous studies in hundreds of patients in different countries such as Italy and the Netherlands have reported successful results.

The purpose of nutritional changes after gastric balloon administration is to facilitate the body’s adaptation to this new condition as long as the balloon remains in the stomach. Your diet and exercise program is there to help you with your stomach balloon on your way out. If you use this aid well and aim for a lifestyle change, you will achieve maximum benefit and achieve health success.

It is imperative to understand that this method is a non-surgical, low-risk and reproducible method that provides support for changing eating habits. It is not right to expect the whole effect from the balloon or to present the balloon as a great treat.  

Risks of Gastric Balloon Procedure 

The maximum holding time of the balloon is six months. As in all medical operations, there are some risks of the gastric balloon. 

The balloon includes Methylene blue to detect premature delivery of the balloon. A simple abdominal X-ray or ultrasound will suffice if the balloon is intact. Intestinal obstruction is very rare. It happens if the balloon descends. You can throw new generation balloons in usual ways. However, in very rare cases, bowel obstruction may develop. 

Gastric balloon is not appropriate for such patients;

  • People with stomach diseases
  • Long-term cortisone users
  • Pregnant women.
  • Alcoholics, drug addicts
  • Mentally ill people.

In case you are one of those people indicated above, you better reconsider it. 

Gastric Balloon Weight Loss  

Global obesity has many causes, and poor portion control is one of those reasons. Obalon gastric balloon may not eradicate the global epidemic alone. Still, it can help the vast majority of those who are concerned about their health and overweight and obese people who have no other treatment.

People who try to feed unsavoury foods to lose weight and starve for weeks fail after a while, and after a few attempts, they give up completely and go back to their old eating habits. Contrary to popular belief, there are many genetic and biological factors underlying weight loss. First of all, the underlying cause of weight loss may be sugar or some other problem. 

Gastric balloon weight loss will vary depending on the person’s current excess weight, metabolic rate, sex, age, hormonal diseases, adaptation to the diet and physical activity. On average, 20-30% of weight loss is possible. Increasing dietary compliance and physical activity will increase this rate.

According to clinical studies, after three months of treatment, the body fat ratio is reduced by 50.2%, total body weight by 8.3% and body mass index by 2.8 points. Long-term behavioural changes and lifestyle changes are essential for successful results. In other words, patients who want to lose weight with the gastric balloon method must strictly follow the advice of their doctor.

Restricting the amount of food you will consume daily with the gastric balloon will automatically reduce the amount of energy you need to take daily. It may affect your protein intake as long as you have a balloon in your stomach. You need to pay extra attention to protein consumption in order to maintain maximum fat loss, maintain muscle mass and prevent your body resistance during this period.

Gastric Balloon Before and After: Do and Dont’s

Like every technique and procedure, the gastric balloon has some specific periods before and after the operation.

Before the Gastric Balloon Operation

Firstly, when you decide on a gastric balloon, you should talk to your doctor and have the necessary checks done. Therefore, you should choose the team that you set realistic goals and who is with you as you progress. In the post-application period, you should not forget that your nutritional follow-ups are very important for managing the adaptation process of the balloon to the stomach, healthy weight loss and changing your habits.

The first step of the gastric balloon procedure is the analysis of the body. If you have the necessary conditions, you can undergo surgery. Anaesthesia is the next step before the operation. Anesthesiologists apply the conscious sedation technique before the procedure. It ensures that the patient can fully sleep for 10-15 minutes without stopping breathing. So he can’t feel or remember anything during the process.

After the anaesthesia, a complete endoscopic examination is crucial for the operation. In other words, doctors examine the entire upper digestive system from the oesophagus to the duodenum. If there is not an indication of reflux, ulcers, severe gastritis or suspicious lesions in the stomach, they lower the balloon into the stomach.

Then the team fill the balloon with air or other substances such as physiological saline gradually by observing with the endoscope. The physiological saline is with an ink-coloured dye, which is methylene blue. 

The purpose of this is to ensure that if the balloon has the slightest leakage, the patient will come to control by recognizing the colour in urine or large ablution. However, the procedure lasts approximately half an hour under normal circumstances.

After Gastric Balloon Operation

Patients stay in the hospital for one day. Thanks to the newly developed balloons (Adjustable Gastric Balloon System), the balloon has the possibility of staying in the stomach for one year. After the extraction of the old balloon, if the patient wishes, s/he can get a new balloon after the analysis.

Eating Habits and Tips

In the first two to three days of application, we recommend a completely or partially liquid diet. Foods such as soups, water, juices, milk, crushed bananas and potatoes are suitable. Important points at this stage are: 

  1. You should eat 3-4 meals a day. (Breakfast, lunch, afternoon and dinner.)
  2. Take small bites and eat in a vertical position.
  3. You should make sure that there is at least 1 hour between meals.
  4. Avoid additions such as pepper, oil, salt as much as possible.
  5. You should drink 1-1.5 litres of water, tea or juice a day.

After the fourth day, you can gradually switch to solid food. Milk or yoghurt for breakfast, biscuits, pasta for lunch, boiled vegetables, boiled potatoes for dinner and steamed fish are suitable for the diet. At this stage, the transition to solid foods should be gradual. It is essential to keep in mind that strict adherence to dietary requirements is an absolute impact on success. You can see our recommendations for eating.

  • You should eat very slowly and with good chewing
  • Dividing the food into small pieces and serving with small plates will be useful to eat
  • Never smoke before eating
  • Do not eat too late
  • Stop eating and drinking at least 2 hours before bedtime
  • Try to exercise for at least 40 minutes a day.

You may not be able to meet your daily intake of vitamins and minerals with the limitation of your diet. Vitamin-mineral supplement use is necessary in order to complete your deficiencies with your examinations.

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