How to Prepare for a Gastric Balloon


Spatz3 is the world’s only Adjustable Gastric Balloon System

A gastric balloon is a non-surgical option for people who have tried but who have not succeeded in losing weight or reducing obesity through diet and exercise. The gastric balloon implantation procedure involves placing a balloon via endoscopy into the stomach of the patient. The balloon is then inflated in order to trick the patient’s stomach into believing he or she is fuller than he or she is; the outcome is that the patient will consume less and will naturally lose weight. Most patients lose up to 30% or more of excess body weight within the time frame in which the gastric balloon is implanted (typically six months, or 8-months with the Spatz3). While it’s straightforward, there are some things you have to do to prepare for a gastric balloon.

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Determine Your Qualifications for a Gastric Balloon Implantation

Before even accepting you as a patient, your doctor will want to meet with you and determine if you are an appropriate candidate for the procedure. While a gastric balloon implantation is a non-surgical procedure like other bariatric measures, it’s not entirely risk free.

What’s more, the procedure is intended as a “jump start” of sorts, to get you on the right track to a commitment of lifelong health. The balloon doesn’t stay inside of your stomach forever, and it’s too cost-prohibitive to do it repeatedly (and is further likely not safe).

In fact, one way to prepare for a gastric balloon is to discuss your readiness to commit to a dietary lifestyle change with your doctor and dietician. Your doctor has to be sure that you are committed to upholding proper eating habits and that you have realistic weight loss goals. You will also talk about other health concerns.

How to Prepare for a Gastric Balloon

Getting a Health Check to Prepare for a Gastric Balloon

Physically, you must be fit enough to get a gastric balloon; your overall fitness will also determine the likelihood that the gastric balloon intervention will be successful. Neither you nor your doctor want to undergo the process only for it to not succeed. Thus, in addition to your willingness and medical background, your doctor will also conduct:

  • Blood work
  • Chest x-ray
  • ECG (possibly)

The reason for these tests is because many people who are obese have other comorbidities related to diabetes, cardiovascular health, and more that could pose problematic if you had a gastric balloon inserted. While the gastric balloon implantation is non-surgical and the gastric balloon mechanism is easily adapted, any foreign object inserted into the human body poses a potential risk for complications.

Thus, your doctor will prepare you by looking at your entire physical and mental health profile.

How Gastric Balloon Implantation Works

If you qualify for the gastric balloon, then you will attend a short appointment the day of gastric balloon implantation. You will be asked not to drink or eat anything six to 12 hours before your procedure. This is to prevent nausea, a common initial side effect of gastric balloon implantation along with vomiting and cramping.

The gastric balloon insertion is quick and takes less than half an hour after which time you’ll be allowed to go home. You may be given some anti-nausea medications. For the first few days after the gastric balloon implantation, you will adhere to a liquid diet. After the first few days, you’ll be able to move on to purees, well-strained soups, and smoothies.

Once the initial symptoms wear off, you’re on your way to reap the benefits of a gastric balloon.

Watching Out for Potential Complications

That said, the only other aspect of preparation for a gastric balloon that you will undergo is being advised on what to look for in the event of complications. Balloons sometimes leak or deflate. If you experience a great deal of pain, nausea, vomiting, or any other peculiar symptoms with the gastric balloon inserted, immediately contact your doctor or seek emergency help.

Again, as part of your gastric balloon preparation, you’ll be given all of the information you need to recognize signs that something isn’t right. Generally speaking, people have great success with gastric balloons and wonderful results.

Find out about our patients’ success stories

If you’ve never had bariatric surgery, have a BMI of 27 or higher, and are comfortable with adhering to lifelong dietary changes in the interest of your health and happiness, then contact Spatz Medical and see if the revolutionary Adjustable Spatz3 Gastric Balloon is right for you.

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