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Is the gastric balloon right for me?

Gastric balloon is suggested to patients in the obese class I (BMI over 30). The operation is a prevention or treatment of the diseases caused by obesity and helps improve the patient’s quality of life and potentially prolongs it.

It is also used in serious cases of obesity (BMI over 50) in order to reduce weight before proceeding to another kind of bariatric surgery.

If you decide to lose weight with a gastric balloon, you need no reference from your practitioner. All the pre-operative examinations are done at the ISCARE clinic.

Schedule an appointment right now via the online consultation form, call us or send us an email (see contact details).

Find out your BMI by entering height and weight.

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How much weight will I lose with the gastric balloon?

This weight loss method is very effective. Within six months the weight is reduced the most. Subsequently, the weight loss depends on the eating habits and lifestyle of the patient. Ultimate weight loss depends, as with all bariatric operations, on the patient weight before the procedure, and subsequent adherence to postoperative recommendations.

The balloon flows freely in the stomach. It evokes a feeling of fullness, reduces the capacity of the stomach and thereby reduces food intake. Thanks to this mechanism, the patient loses weight. The classic form of the balloon remains in the stomach for 6 months. The Spatz balloon remains for up to one year. During this period the patient becomes accustomed to a new healthy diet and continues in it after the balloon is removed.

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How is the procedure done?

The procedure itself takes only 20 – 30 minutes. Before the actual procedure, an endoscopic examination of the throat, stomach and duodenum is done. After that, the balloon is endoscopically inserted and filled with 14 – 21 fl. oz. of physiologic liquid mixed with special blue medical colour (methyl blue 0.1 fl. oz.). The colour indicates a potential leak of the balloon by colouring the urine. In case of a leak, the patient can quickly look for medical help so the balloon can be removed. If the empty balloon moves along the digestive tract, it usually spontaneously leaves the body in a few days.

The pre-operational check-up and the procedure are done in one day. The patient is able to leave the clinic within one day after the operation.

One of the biggest advantages of the gastric balloon is the use of local anaesthesia – injection (complete anaesthesia is used with all other bariatric surgeries) and less intervening in the human body as it would be with other bariatric operations.

After the period of 6 month for the gastric baloon or 12 month for the spatz baloon, the balloon is taken out endoscopically. By using special tools a small hole is made in the balloon so the liquid or air can get out. Then, the balloon is removed. The risk of taking it out is very small. The most common complication is the spontaneous leak of the balloon in the stomach. This happens only if the patient does not follow the time limit (6 or 12 months), which is also one of the disadvantages of this approach. After the above mentioned period of time, it is more than recommended to extract the balloon since the risk of the leak grows.

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How will my diet change after surgery?

Right after the surgery you’ll starts with the gastric balloon diet plan. The gastric surgeon provides you with a nutrition schedule and gives you dietary advice.

Usually you’re on a liquid diet the first four weeks. It is recommended to drink clear broth, tee, coffee, diet non-sparkling beverages, juice, yogurt, etc.

Do not drink too much at once. It’s better to eat and drink more small portions than less and bigger ones.

You’ll be provided with your nutrition schedule at the ISCARE clinic.

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What are the potential risks and side effects
of a gastric balloon?

It’s generally believed to be a safe and reliable method. The risk factor is very rare.

The most frequent complication is the deflation of the balloon. This can easily be avoided if you follow the advice to have the balloon removed after the advised period of time (6 months for gastric balloon and 12 month for spatz ballon). The disadvantage of the adiposity treatment with the gastric balloon is the limited timeframe. After this period the balloon has to be removed. Otherwise the risk of deflation is increasing.

Since the body has to get used to the changes, gastric issues such as heartburn, stomach aches, nausea or vomiting can occur in some cases right after the surgery. Most of these go away within a few hours after the procedure. It is possible to take out the balloon immediately if they remain longer. Based on what has been mentioned above, we recommend the clients to stay at our clinic overnight so we can minimalize the risk of complications and the patient receives the appropriate care.

All information is intended for general and brief guidance. If you wish to receive more information, do not hesitate to contact us via the contact form or contacts.

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Main difference between gastric balloon and Spatz balloon

Gastric balloon

  • Has to be extracted after 6 month
  • Average weight loss 15-25 kg during 6 month
  • Price £1360

Spatz balloon

  • Has to be extracted after 12 month
  • Average weight loss 25-27 kg during 12 month
  • Price £1650