Weight loss surgery with a balloon involves no incisions or cutting so it’s not actually surgery – except that people sometimes search for it that way and here you are! The procedure actually involves placing a specially made medical balloon in a patient’s stomach to take up space so that patients feel physically full after eating a great deal less, reducing the appetite and making weight loss a great deal easier. Because it is so minimally invasive, the recovery time is relatively brief.
At West Medical, we offer three different types of gastric balloon treatments. While you and your doctor will decide which is right for you, they are essentially similar in terms of the overall process.
Most patients with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 40 qualify for gastric balloon treatments qualify for a gastric balloon. Before treatment can commence, however, patients will need to consult with our West Medical doctors to confirm that they are able to undergo the procedure. Common areas of discussion include:
- Medical history
- History of prior weight loss attempts
- Personal goals and commitment to the program
Once approved, patients can then begin the procedure, which only takes about 15 minutes to complete. Patients will first be sedated before the balloon device is placed in the stomach endoscopically. The balloon is then filled with a saline solution to inflate it before the endoscopic tube is retracted. Patients can return home the day of the procedures, though some discomfort is to be expected for a day or two.
Once the procedure has been performed, periodic checkups are required to ensure that the balloon has not shifted into an unsafe position, in addition to making sure that patients are meeting their weight loss goals. Most patients lose the majority of their goal weight within the first three months of the program. After six months the balloon is removed and patients are required to visit their support team for another six months to ensure that the necessary lifestyle changes are underway.
For more information on gastric balloon treatments, visit our contact page or call the number at the top of your screen.