Is it safe to drive after my gastric balloon procedure?
Spatz3 is the world’s only Adjustable Gastric Balloon System
Living a normal lifestyle after bariatric surgery is important for many, so you may be wondering if it’s safe to drive after a gastric balloon. Because a gastric balloon is less invasive than other bariatric weight loss procedures, you will be able to drive soon after having your gastric balloon inserted; however, there are some rules to be aware of..
Can I Drive after a Gastric Balloon?
The gastric balloon insertion procedure is short—it typically lasts 15-30 minutes from insertion to inflation, and you’re able to leave the office that day. Gastric balloon is an in-office procedure that requires no anesthesia; though, you will be sedated.
That said, you still might feel nauseated or uncomfortable after having your gastric balloon inserted. This along with the sedation is what causes driving with a gastric balloon to be an unsafe option right after the gastric balloon is inserted. In fact, you should arrange to have a friend or family member drive you home after you get your gastric balloon.
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When Can I Drive after a Gastric Balloon is Inserted?
When determining if you can drive after a gastric balloon is inserted, it is best to not drive until you are no longer nauseated or experiencing any side effects that could pose a danger to you or others.
Equally, if you are on nausea medications that could cause drowsiness or any pain medications you may require, you should wait until you are no longer relying on those to drive.
Plan for at least 3-4 days of inactivity after you get your gastric balloon inserted. If all goes well and you’re off of any medications you were given, then you should be safe to drive.
What are Safe Driving Practices with a Gastric Balloon?
Once you adjust to your gastric balloon, you will feel “normal”; however, if you have needed to take medication for nausea or cramping, wait until the time period indicated on the medication packaging has worn off before you attempt to drive again.
It is also important to follow all of your doctor’s specific advice for driving after a gastric balloon. Each patient may be slightly different in terms of what and how they need to approach daily activities like driving.
Can I Travel on Trips after I Get a Gastric Balloon?
Once you are cleared to drive and are comfortable with your gastric balloon, travel is fine. Do keep check-up appointments and balloon adjustments in mind when making any long travel plans.
Can I Fly after a Gastric Balloon?
It is perfectly safe to fly after you have a gastric balloon inserted; however, altitude changes may cause bloating or cramping during travel, so be aware and be prepared. If you can tolerate a little discomfort, then traveling after you have your gastric balloon is not a problem.
You may want to arrange for a ride share or taxi or friend to transport you after you fly in case you do experience difficult side effects or need medication to mitigate those (such as nausea) during your flight.
Can I Drive after a Gastric Balloon Adjustment?
As you know, you might choose to have your gastric balloon adjusted throughout the treatment period. While side effects are unlikely and you will probably tolerate the adjustment perfectly well, it is still a good idea to have someone else drive you when you have your balloon adjusted. It is safer to not drive after gastric balloon adjustment.
Can I Drive after Gastric Balloon Removal?
Gastric balloon removal is a simple and non-invasive procedure, but like the insertion, it may leave you feeling uncomfortable or nauseated, and in a condition when you should not drive. You should not drive after a gastric balloon removal and should plan to have someone take you home following the gastric balloon removal.
While there will be times when you should not drive after a gastric balloon insertion, a gastric balloon adjustment, or a gastric balloon removal, the majority of your time with the gastric balloon will be safe for you to drive, to travel, and to fly. It is a good idea to ask the doctor who is inserting your gastric balloon for specifics on when you can drive after gastric balloon insertion, adjustment, and removal. Safety, comfort, and awareness are all important when you drive after gastric balloon procedure.
Gastric balloons are among the most non-invasive bariatric weight loss procedures with the shortest recovery time. You can quickly resume normal activities like driving. Contact us at Spatz Medical to learn more about the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon and how quickly you can return to normal activities once you’ve had your gastric balloon inserted, adjusted, and removed.