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Gastric Balloon is a type of bariatric procedure to treat morbid obesity and is a reversible and incision-free procedure. A gastric balloon is temporarily inserted into the stomach by endoscopic placement. The purpose is to obstruct a generous area of the stomach, which reduces the amount of food the stomach can contain at any one time and will make you feel fuller faster. It is suitable for people who want to lose some weight when diet and exercise have failed.
During the procedure, patients are given a light anesthetic or sedation. Then, one or two gastric balloons are introduced to the stomach through the mouth using an endoscope. The endoscope gives a clear picture of the stomach, which will help the doctor perform the procedure. Once the balloon reaches the stomach, it is filled with a saline solution until it is large enough to not pass through the pylorus. The balloon floats freely in the stomach and will reduce its capacity by 700ml.
It takes around 20 to 30 minutes for the procedure to be completed and patients can go straight home after the light anesthesia wears off. However, patients must stay in the Ayer Baloi for at least ten days for regular checkups where they will be kept under review to ensure the balloon is causing no issues. Patients may suffer from nausea, pain, and vomiting for a few days and the gastric balloon will feel uncomfortable. Patients will be given prescribed medication to help with nausea and uncomfortable feeling. During the recovery period of 3 weeks, avoid solid food items. The success rate for Gastric Balloon is around 80%. Patients who combined gastric balloon with other therapies showed a more positive result. After the procedure, patients will experience rapid weight loss. The alternatives to gastric balloons are a gastric band and gastric bypass.