Gastric balloon is made of silicone or polyurethane material, placed in the stomach as deflated and then inflated with sterile liquid. It is used for the obesity treatments. Balloon application is not a surgical intervention, but some gastric balloons are placed and removed by endoscopy under anesthesia, depending on the type of balloon.
The mechanism of the gastric balloon is to create a constant feeling of fullness by occupying space in the stomach, thus enabling the patient to lose weight with less food consumption at each meal. Studies on this subject started in the 1980s. Swallowable gastric balloons, which do not require endoscopy and anesthesia, are also used.
When we consider obesity as a common disease of the modern age, gastric balloon applications are a frequently preferred curing method in the treatment of overweight and obesity, especially by individuals who are inconvenient to receive anesthesia or who do not want a surgical procedure.
Gastric balloons stay in the stomach for 4-12 months, depending on their types. With the feeling of satiety during this period, it makes easier for the person to follow his/her diet by limiting food intake. Nutritional style and eating habits change, and after the balloon takes out of the stomach, the person maintains these habits and maintains his ideal weight
TYPES OF STOMACH BALLOON
Gastric balloons all have the same basic mechanism of action. However, the method of application can be varied according to features such as the duration of stay in the stomach, whether it is adjustable or not.
Fixed volume balloons
Fixed volume balloons are inflated 400-600ml during the first insertion and their volume is not changed afterwards. They stay in the stomach for 6 months. At the end of the 6-month period, it is removed again with sedation and endoscopy. Medsil™ Balloon is an example of these balloons.
There is no need for any endoscopy procedure for the swallowable gastric balloon (elipse balloon) of the fixed-volume balloons. The valve on the balloon is opened itself at the end of 4 months, and the balloon deflates and is expelled spontaneously through the intestine. Re-endoscopy is not required for removal.
Adjustable Gastric Balloon
The difference of the adjustable gastric balloon from the fixed volume gastric balloon is that its volume can be adjusted according to the need while the balloon is in the stomach. This type of balloons are inflated 400-500 ml like fixed volume balloons after placing them in the stomach.
In the next process, the amount of liquid can be increased or decreased from the filling tip, which is located at the tip of the balloon , depending on the patient’s weight loss status. Spatz 3 adjustable balloons are examples of these balloons.
Except for the Allurion swallowable Elipse gastric balloon, the patient is put to sleep with the sedation method during the placement of the gastric balloons into the stomach. Sedation is a lighter than general anesthesia in which the patient is asleep. There is no need for auxiliary equipment for breathing. Therefore, it should not be confused with general anesthesia. The risk is much less.
WHO IS CANDIDATE FOR GASTRIC BALLOON?
Gastric balloon is an obesity treatment method that has been used for a long time, in which 10 to 15% of their weight can be lost in 4-6 months. It can be applied to individuals with a body mass index of 27 and above, between the ages of 18-70, who have not had bariatric surgery before. In addition, gastric balloon is an alternative treatment method for those who do not want to have a surgical operation (like gastric sleeve) or have a disease to prevent to get anesthesia (swallowable gastric balloon).
It is very important for patients to maintain their eating habits acquired with gastric balloon in the future. Thus, they will not regain the weight they lost.
IN WHICH CIRCUMSTANCES IS THE STOMACH BALLOON NOT SUITABLE?
Gastric balloon is not suitable in some cases. First of these situations are gastric ulcer reflux and large gastric hernia. In addition, gastric balloon application is not suitable for patients who have had bariatric surgery before, pregnants, or who want to become pregnant, who are addicted to alcohol, who have psychological disorders and who have problems in the esophagus and esophagus.
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HOW THE GASTRIC BALLOON PLACED?
As mentioned, the gastric balloon is a deflated flexible material made of silicone or polyurethane material. In an uninflated state, it is inserted through the mouth and esophagus (depending on the type of balloon selected) into the stomach with the help of a thin flexible tube with a camera and light, called endoscopy.
In the meantime, light sedation is applied so that the patient does not feel any pain. If endoscopy and sedation are to be performed for the insertion of the balloon into the stomach, an anesthesiologist is also present during the application.
Sedation or endoscopy is not required for the Allurion ellipse gastric balloon, which has been developed with technological advances.
Before the deflated balloon is placed in the stomach, the condition of the stomach is checked by endoscopy whether it is suitable for the balloon. No food should be consumed for the last 6 hours before the balloon is placed.
After the balloon is placed in the stomach, the balloon is inflated with 400-600 ml of isotonic sterile saline to become approximately the size of a grapefruit. The volume of an average stomach is around 1-1.5 liters. Gastric balloons can be filled up to 800 ml, but how much the balloon will be inflated is decided by the doctor considering some criteria.
The color of the water is methylene blue. Thus, if there is a hole or leak in the balloon, your urine will turn blue. In this case, consult your doctor immediately to have the balloon removed. It will be removed from the stomach by endoscopy.
The total processing time is as short as 30 minutes.
LIFE AFTER GASTRIC BALLOON
It should be noted that you will have cramping, nausea and vomiting during the your stomach will try to digest the gastric balloon, but because it is indigestible, these symptoms last 3 to 7 days, varying from person to person, and then disappear. Your doctor will prescribe the necessary medicines so that you can get through this process easily.
It should not be forgotten that the gastric balloon is a start for losing weight. It is very important that you maintain this by making changes in your lifestyle and eating habits in the next steps. You will need to follow the diet given to you and turn it into a eating habit in the future.
It is normal to feel discomfort such as nausea immediately after the gastric balloon is inserted. This may take a few days or up to a week. Depending on the severity of these ailments, your doctor will prescribe medication.
In the first two weeks, most patients state that they feel completely full. Some patients may experience nausea after eating a meal. Significant weight loss is seen in this 2 week period.
In 3-6 weeks, the appetite is gradually restored, but it can be satisfied with very little food. You should eat slowly. Meals should be scheduled and deliberate. Complaints such as hiccups, stomach reflux and nausea are usually seen when eating fast and a lot.
7.-12. weeks weight loss continues. However, it is less than the first 6 weeks. In this period, it is important to continue to make efforts to establish diet and exercise methods as a lifestyle for weight loss.
THE COSTS OF GASTRIC BALLOON
Gastric balloon prices vary like the prices of many imported products in our country. Gastric balloon price, which is directly affected by the changes in the exchange rate, also depends on the hospital applied. You can contact us for the current gastric balloon application price and for quality service.
BARIATRIC SURGERY Frequently Asked Questions
1Why should I consider weight loss surgery?
Weight loss surgery is the most effective way to lose weight and keep weight off. Weight loss surgery can improve or resolve obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, acid reflux and sleep apnea. It also decreases obesity-related cancer risk by 30%. Weight loss surgery can help improve your overall quality of life.
2 What should I expect after surgery?
You will need to follow a bariatric diet and exercise daily, take bariatric vitamins lifelong, refrain from using nicotine (including cigarettes) and minimize alcohol use.
3What is the recovery time after weight loss surgery?
On average, most patients stay in the hospital one to two days after surgery. Most return to work two to three weeks after surgery.