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.