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Sometimes the surgeon may suggest that you have a gastric balloon inserted as a temporary measure. This is often to help you lose weight prior to surgery to reduce your surgical risks or if the surgeons can’t operate due to shape of your abdomen. It will also provide an idea of the expected restrictions with other surgery.

This is a silicone balloon, which is fitted in the stomach via the mouth (endoscopically) as a day case. This is usually under light general anaesthetic or sedation.

As with the other bariatric procedures, you will be expected to follow a special post-operative diet whilst your body adapts to the balloon.

It is only a temporary measure and has a lifespan of 6 months. After 6 months it will be removed, with the aim that a more permanent operation will be possible two months following removal of gastric balloon.

 

The Benefits and Drawbacks of a Gastric Balloon

Benefits:

  • You can expect to lose 20 - 30% of your excess bodyweight in 6 months provided you adhere to a healthy lifestyle and dietary guidelines
  • Losing weight should reduce your medical and surgical risks, thereby making further surgery easier and safer
  • It gives you an impression of the lifestyle changes expected for all other bariatric surgery without undergoing the risks involved with these
  • You are expected to return to ‘normal’ textures and healthy eating within 2 weeks of insertion

 

Drawbacks:

  • The weight and presence of the balloon can cause the stomach to become irritated causing nausea and vomiting, which can last for 7-10 days depending on how strictly you follow instructions
  • Usually it takes a few days for nausea and vomiting to reduce
  • It is only a temporary solution
  • You still need to make healthy eating and lifestyle choices
  • The balloon can rupture, but it is filled with a blue dye. If this happens your urine will turn a blue / green colour. If this occurs, please contact us urgently.
  • Oesophagus, stomach or duodenum rupture is a rare (1;10,000) complication caused by the endoscopy or balloon itself. It this occurs it may require an emergency operation.