Gastric Balloon and Smoking

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Spatz3 is the world’s only Adjustable Gastric Balloon System

In this article we will see if the gastric balloon and smoking are compatible. It may surprise some, but smoking while you have your gastric balloon is not recommended. While most consider smoking to be a lung hazard, and even for smoking and weight loss to have a correlation, smoking while or after undergoing any gastric procedure can be dangerous. Learn why smoking with a gastric balloon is considered so dangerous.

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Smoking and Weight Loss

As noted, many associate smoking with weight loss. Much of this circles back to the impression many got in the ‘90s and at other time periods where fashion models and rail-thin ballerinas used smoking to curb their appetites. While this may have been somewhat effective, smoking is a dangerous habit for any reason, and while it is certainly hazardous to one’s lung health, it’s also dangerous in the context of gastric balloon procedures. In fact, smoking after gastric sleeve and smoking after gastric bypass surgery are not recommended either.

Gastric Smoking: The Risks

The primary reason you shouldn’t smoke with a gastric balloon(or vape for that matter) or after having any kind of gastric surgery is due to the following health risks:

  • Pulmonary complications including increased risk of breathing difficulties; compromised immunity is another problem (pneumonia and other infections are more likely)
  • Blood clots are more common after surgical procedures anyway. While these are less common with gastric balloons, there are always risks present. Smoking increases these risks. Blood clots can move to the brain or heart causing a pulmonary embolism or stroke. At times, these are fatal conditions.
  • Stomach ulcers can happen more in smokers regardless, but after surgery there may be less blood flow to the stomach, and ulcers may not be able to heal as quickly.
  • Slower healing is common among smokers; smoking increases the risk of surgical infections, which is why it’s important to stop smoking not only after surgery but also beforehand.
  • Lower life expectancy. While losing weight through gastric intervention increases one’s life expectancy by 10-15 years, smoking decreases life expectancy by 10 years largely due to complications. Thus, quitting smoking is literally a matter of a longer life or a faster death.

The same complications exist for smokers who want to lose weight through gastric balloon procedures. Because the gastric balloon is inserted for longer, it’s possible that gastric balloons can help individuals stop smoking permanently.

Quitting smoking for good

Many smokers are as interested in quitting their smoking habit as they are of losing weight. One of the benefits of a gastric balloon over other weight loss procedures—aside from the fact that gastric balloons are not surgical nor do they permanently alter the body, is that gastric balloons are inserted for anywhere from six to twelve months depending on the type of gastric balloon you choose (the Spatz3 adjustable balloon remains inserted for up to 12 months).

Because you should not smoke with the gastric balloon inserted due to the increased chances of complications, those who are forced to not smoke for half a year to an entire year are less likely to start smoking again ever. One study showed that in a certain group of smokers 46% never resumed smoking following gastric balloon, so not only is gastric balloon favorably associated with weight loss, it’s also a potential vehicle for smoking cessation.

Weakness with Gastric Balloon

Can you return to smoking after gastric balloon treatment?

Your health—such as your exercise regimen—will suffer if you return to smoking after your gastric balloon. If it’s impossible to stop smoking or vaping, it’s recommended that you don’t start smoking after surgery until at least 4-6 weeks post operation. You’ll want to discuss the risks, side effects, and potential concerns with your doctor.

Again, for your health, it’s highly encouraged to try to maintain the habit of not smoking and to focus on your new diet and exercise regimen. When it comes to gastric balloon and smoking, remember that there are no benefits to smoking during or after a gastric procedure and that if you choose to toss out your smokes, a gastric balloon can help you quit smoking for good.


Find out about our patients’ success stories

Gastric balloons have many benefits. In addition to weight loss, a gastric balloon can help you stop smoking. The longer a gastric balloon is installed, the less likely you are to smoke again. Different balloons last different amounts of time. The adjustable Spatz3 is one gastric balloon that not only stays in for up to 12 months but that can also be dialed up or down to maximize your weight loss potential. Contact Spatz Medical to learn more!

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