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The gastric balloon is a non-surgical procedure to aid in weight loss. The balloon acts as a “filler” for the stomach so that the patient experiences less hunger and will consume smaller portions while still feeling full and satisfied after meals. Weight-loss results vary based upon the patient’s commitment to following a modified diet and exercise program, in combination with use of the gastric balloon. Typically, patients needing to lose anywhere from 10-30 pounds with a minimum BMI of 30-40 may be candidates for the balloon procedure.

Once the physician and patient have determined that the gastric balloon is the best option for the patient, an endoscopic camera is used to place a soft balloon into the stomach. The balloon is then filled with a sterile saline solution via a small tube. Once the tube is removed, the balloon remains securely in the patient’s stomach for a period of six months. If a period of longer than six months is determined to be necessary, the physician will replace the old balloon with a new balloon using the same procedure. Once the six-month time period is over, the balloon is removed, using the same endoscopic method, and the patient continues on a supervised diet and wellness program for another six months to form a healthy lifestyle path.

What to Expect After the Gastric Balloon Procedure Has Been Performed?

In most cases, patients go home the same day as the procedure with recommended limited activity for approximately three days following the procedure. Initially there is discomfort which then transitions into a feeling of fullness. This transition usually takes a few day to a week. To help ensure success with the Gastric Balloon procedure, patients will need to follow up with their physician and lifestyle team regularly to review their weight-loss progress and to discuss their long-term diet and exercise plans.