Gastric Balloon Procedure

What To Expect

Prior to Gastric Balloon Insertion

To ensure maximal success, your doctor will determine exactly which pre-screening assessments will be required in your case. Pre-screening assessment may include any or all of the following: a patient information profile, dietary evaluation, psychological consultation, routine blood tests, chest X-ray and ECG.

To prepare for the insertion, you will be instructed to fast from midnight prior to your procedure.

Insertion of the Gastric Balloon

Most patients have the gastric balloon inserted while under sedation, unless there is a specific clinical reason to proceed differently. The gastric balloon is inserted endoscopically and placed in the stomach, then inflated with saline. You will be discharged and able to return home within an hour.

The gastric balloon can easily be deflated and removed, if required, at any time.

Adjustment Procedure

If you experience excessive or prolonged nausea, vomiting or pain, the gastric balloon volume can be diminished with an adjustment procedure.
If your appetite increases, or weight loss plateaus or ceases, the gastric balloon volume can be increased with an adjustment procedure.
The gastric balloon volume can be changed with a 15-minute endoscopy procedure. Preparation requires a liquid diet for 3 full days prior to adjustment followed by fasting from midnight the night before. Adjustments will be made while you are under sedation. As with the insertion procedure, you’ll be discharged within an hour.

Removal Technique

After 12 months, the gastric balloon will be removed with endoscopy, again with the help of sedation. Preparation requires a liquid diet for 3 full days prior to the procedure followed by fasting from midnight the night before. Following removal, you will be discharged within an hour.

Risks and Complications

With any surgical or medical intervention there are always going to be risks and some complications. Although many are very rare and every effort is made to reduce or prevent them, you need to be fully aware of their existence in order to make an informed decision. Among the risks are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Diarrhea
  • Reactions to sedation
  • Aspiration Pneumonia
  • Esophageal/gastric perforation
  • Gastro-Esophageal reflux
  • Deflation of the gastric balloon and intestinal obstruction

Post Insertion

For the first 3-5 days following gastric balloon positioning, you may feel uncomfortable and nauseated. This will pass and every effort will be made to reduce these side effects. You will be offered medication to settle your stomach and relieve the nausea. It is important to take the medication prior to the onset of nausea.

For the first 3 days after insertion, you will begin a liquid-only diet, slowly progressing to a semi-solid diet. Within a week, you’ll be able to resume eating normal textured foods.

Along with the gastric balloon, you will be enrolled in a corresponding behavioral modification program. Attendance at these sessions, learning the behavioral modification principles and compliance with them are of paramount importance to your weight loss success.

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