Gastric Balloon - 14 Ways It Will Affect You

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The gastric balloon procedure (aka, “endoscopic intragastric balloon”) leaves 1 to 3 inflated silicon balloons in the stomach for 6 months, making less room for food. As a result, patients:

  • Feel full sooner while eating and therefore eat less
  • Lose about 30% of their excess weight in 6 months (when the balloon(s) are removed)
  • Have health improvement for diabetes, joint/bone disease, and heart-related issues

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. How the Gastric Balloon Works
  2. Weight Loss
  3. Health Benefits
  4. How to Qualify
  5. Cost & Insurance
  6. Comparing the 4 Types of Balloons
  7. Preparing for the Procedure
  8. Recovery
  9. Diet & Life After
  10. Balloon Removal (Required After 6 Months)
  11. Risks & Downsides
  12. How Do Other Weight Loss Procedures Compare?
  13. Summary: 9 Steps to Long-Term Weight
  14. Quiz: Test Your Knowledge
  15. Patient Community & Expert Advice
  16. Find a Top Doctor

If you’re brand new to bariatric surgery, we recommend starting on our Bariatric Surgery for Beginners page.

If you’re already familiar with the basics, read the sections below for everything you need to know about the gastric balloon procedure.

1.

How the Balloon Works

  • Deflated balloon inserted through mouth and down esophagus

  • Balloon expanded in stomach

  • Causes patient to feel full sooner while eating, eat less, and lose weight

Gastric Balloon

Why the Gastric Balloon Works

  • Between 1 and 3 inflated balloons in the stomach (depending on the balloon type chosen) leave less room for food and cause patients to feel full sooner and eat less.

How the Gastric Balloon Procedure Is Performed

The gastric balloon procedure is performed differently depending on which balloon type you choose:

Orbera, Reshape, & Spatz

The Orbera and ReShape gastric balloon procedures usually takes no more than a half hour to perform (compared to about 2 hours for gastric sleeve), and most patients are out of the hospital on the same day.

Once you are set up in the treatment room, following are the steps:

  1. Your throat will be numbed with a special spray. The numbing sensation may feel strange, but it will help your throat tolerate the instruments used in the procedure. If you wish, you can also ask for an injection to make you feel sleepy, but these options will be discussed with you beforehand.
  2. After you are comfortable, the nurse will insert a plastic mouth guard between your teeth to keep your mouth open for the scope.
  3. The scope will be passed through your mouth and into your stomach. This will not be painful, and you will be able to breath without worry. The doctor may also need to pass some air down the scope to have a clear view. This too can be a strange feeling, and it may make you want to belch.
  4. The scope will be removed.
  5. The deflated balloon will be passed into your stomach and inflated with either air or saline solution.
  6. The scope will be passed into your stomach one final time to double check that the balloon is in the right position and properly inflated.

Orbera Video

ReShape Video

Obalon

The Obalon balloon procedure is the same as Orbera and ReShape above, except:

  1. The balloon is swallowed in pill form (3 balloon pills swallowed one at a time over 3 months) rather than being inserted with an endoscope.
  2. A scope is not used until the Obalon balloons are removed.

Obalon Video

Spatz Video

2.

Weight Loss

  • Up to one-third of excess weight in 6 months

  • Use calculator to estimate your weight loss with a gastric balloon

Gastric Balloon

The average gastric balloon patient loses a moderate amount of weight very quickly after the procedure:

  • Month 3: Approximately 15% of excess weight
  • Month 6: Approximately 30% of excess weight

Actual weight loss could be higher or lower.

The most popular types of balloon must be removed after 6 months, so long-term weight loss depends entirely on the patient’s diet and lifestyle choices. In other words, gastric balloon should not be viewed as a “long-term fix.”

In fact, some patients use the balloon to lose weight before having a more involved procedure like gastric sleeve. More involved procedures have a lower complication rate when patients weigh less before surgery, so you may want to discuss this option with your surgeon.

References: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

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3.

Health Benefits

  • May improve diabetes, cardiac health & joint/bone issues

Gastric Balloon

Gastric balloon patients are more likely to see health improvements than people of similar weight who do not have the procedure.

While studies are limited, one of the broadest was a 13-year study of 261 gastric balloon patients across multiple bariatric centers (6). It documented the following improvements 3 years after patients received the balloon:

Health Condition
Health Condition
Diabetes
Diabetes
Dyslipidemia
Dyslipidemia
High Cholesterol (hyperlipidemia)
High Cholesterol (hyperlipidemia)
High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
Joint/Bone Disease (osteoarthropathy)
Joint/Bone Disease (osteoarthropathy)
Health Condition
Patients with Health Condition
Diabetes
Decreased from 15% to 10%
Dyslipidemia
Decreased from 20% to 18%
High Cholesterol (hyperlipidemia)
Decreased from 32% to 21%
High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
Decreased from 29% to 16%
Joint/Bone Disease (osteoarthropathy)
Decreased from 25% to 13%

Click here to learn more about obesity-related health problems.

4.

Qualify

  • 30 – 40 body mass index (BMI) required

  • Use the BMI calculator below to learn your BMI

BMI Calculator

Enter your height and weight, then click the button.

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Your BMI35.7Severely Obese
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Does your BMI qualify you for a weight loss procedure?

Yes!

You could be a good candidate for the gastric balloon procedure if you:

  • Are at least 18 years of age
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) in the following ranges by country:
  • For some types of balloons, such as the ReShape Balloon, you must have a health risk associated with obesity (also known as a “comorbidity”) like diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea. For other balloon types, like the Orbera balloon, no comorbidities are required.

Use the calculator at the top of this section to calculate your body mass index.

For a list of frequently asked questions about qualifying, see our “Do I Qualify For Weight Loss Surgery?” page.

5.

Cost & Insurance

  • Cost: $178/month ($8,150 procedure cost), on average

  • Insurance: Gastric balloon is usually not covered

  • Loans & Tax Savings: Usually available

Gastric Balloon

The average gastric balloon cost in the United States is $8,150.

It is usually not covered by insurance, although your doctor may be able to get some of the costs covered.

The price can often be reduced through tax deductions and special doctor-specific discounts.

See our Gastric Balloon Cost page for more information.

6.

4 Types of Balloons

  • 3 types available in the U.S. (Orbera, ReShape, & Obalon)

  • Procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes

Gastric Balloon

There are currently 3 types of gastric balloons to choose from in the United States: Orbera®, ReShape®, and Obalon. Several other types, including the Spatz balloon, are available in other countries or are still in the development process.

Use the interactive tool below to compare each device.

For more about Obalon, see our Gastric Balloon Pill page.

7.

Preparing for the Procedure

Gastric Balloon

Your doctor and their office will work closely with you to prepare for your gastric balloon procedure, including:

  • Conduct a pre-procedure health assessment, where you will be asked questions about your medical history and medications.
  • Review your surgical history, as some complications can arise if you’ve had prior procedures on your stomach.
  • Order certain tests like an ECG, x-ray, and blood tests.
  • Instruct you to fast (no food) for at least 24 hours before surgery, with nothing to eat or drink 12 hours before surgery.
8.

Recovery

  • Patient leaves hospital the same day (outpatient)

  • 3 days to full recovery

Gastric Balloon

After the procedure, gastric balloon patients usually:

  • Leave the hospital and return home the same day.
  • Have someone who is willing and able to drive them home and take care of them for at least 24 hours. The patient’s throat will probably be sore following the procedure since the balloon was inserted through the mouth.
  • Have fully recovered and are back to work within 3 days.
9.

Diet & Life After

  • 14-day transition diet

  • Few diet restrictions

  • Jump-starts better diet & lifestyle habits

Gastric Balloon

Life with the gastric balloon will be very similar to life before, with a few exceptions:

  • You will feel full sooner while eating, causing you to eat less and lose weight
  • If food sticks to your balloon, you may experience vomiting. To reduce this risk, you should avoid foods that are likely to stick to your balloon, like pasta, and sip water after you eat to rinse your balloon.
  • Regularly attending online or in-person weight loss surgery support group meetings (luckily, many are free) can be a huge help and is highly recommended.

The following sections give you an idea about what to expect after surgery.

Food & Drink: Your 14-Day Diet Transition Schedule

Improving your food choices and lifestyle habits will be the most important change after the procedure. The gastric balloon provides a great opportunity to “jumpstart” a longer-term diet and exercise program. However, since it is not a permanent solution (no more than 6 months to one year), many patients wisely use this time to change long-term habits.

Your surgeon’s dietitian or nutritionist, and sometimes a personal trainer, will help get you on track for long-term success. Here is what your diet transition will look like:

Timeframe
Day 1

In the first 24 hours, you should only drink clear liquids. Your dietitian will probably recommend you drink:

  • Water
  • Broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
  • Ice Chips
  • Crystal Light
  • Propel Fitness Water (Zero Calorie only)
  • Powerade (Zero Calorie only)

Additional recommendations may include:

  • Drink warm liquids instead of cold liquids
  • Do NOT drink carbonated drinks – these will cause gas and bloating
  • Drink at least 8 cups of liquid per day. This keeps you hydrated and prevents constipation
  • Start by taking small sips. Wait a minute or two between sips, and try and increase the amount you sip as you get more comfortable. You should take sips totaling no more than ⅓ of a cup at a time.
  • Sit upright after drinking, allowing gravity to help your system. If you are resting, use a recliner rather than lying flat
  • Do not drink more than one cup of coffee or caffeine drinks per day. Caffeine can cause you to become dehydrated, and it can cause cramping and diarrhea
Days 2 through 7

For Days 2 through 7 after surgery, you must still maintain a liquid diet, but you can begin to include non-clear liquids. Try to sip about 8 cups (2 liters) a day with no more than 3 – 3.5 ounces (100 ml) in one sitting.

Additional recommendations may include…

  • Semi-skimmed milk (recommended at least 600 ml a day)
  • Low calorie/reduced sugar squash
  • Herbal Teas
  • Water/Juice mixes
  • Clear beef or chicken broth soup
  • Any protein drinks recommended by your surgeon
Days 7 through 14

About a week after surgery, you will switch to a pureed food diet. Your doctor will work with you regarding the exact timing and what foods you should be eating.

This diet will likely consist of pureed lean protein foods, such as fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, or dairy and soy products. These should always be accompanied by high ratios of pureed fruits and vegetables.

Diet Requirements
Timeframe – Diet Requirements

In the first 24 hours, you should only drink clear liquids. Your dietitian will probably recommend you drink:

  • Water
  • Broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
  • Ice Chips
  • Crystal Light
  • Propel Fitness Water (Zero Calorie only)
  • Powerade (Zero Calorie only)

Additional recommendations may include:

  • Drink warm liquids instead of cold liquids
  • Do NOT drink carbonated drinks – these will cause gas and bloating
  • Drink at least 8 cups of liquid per day. This keeps you hydrated and prevents constipation
  • Start by taking small sips. Wait a minute or two between sips, and try and increase the amount you sip as you get more comfortable. You should take sips totaling no more than ⅓ of a cup at a time.
  • Sit upright after drinking, allowing gravity to help your system. If you are resting, use a recliner rather than lying flat
  • Do not drink more than one cup of coffee or caffeine drinks per day. Caffeine can cause you to become dehydrated, and it can cause cramping and diarrhea
Days 2 through 7 – Liquid Diet

For Days 2 through 7 after surgery, you must still maintain a liquid diet, but you can begin to include non-clear liquids. Try to sip about 8 cups (2 liters) a day with no more than 3 – 3.5 ounces (100 ml) in one sitting.

Additional recommendations may include…

  • Semi-skimmed milk (recommended at least 600 ml a day)
  • Low calorie/reduced sugar squash
  • Herbal Teas
  • Water/Juice mixes
  • Clear beef or chicken broth soup
  • Any protein drinks recommended by your surgeon
Days 7 through 14 – Pureed Food Diet

About a week after surgery, you will switch to a pureed food diet. Your doctor will work with you regarding the exact timing and what foods you should be eating.

This diet will likely consist of pureed lean protein foods, such as fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, or dairy and soy products. These should always be accompanied by high ratios of pureed fruits and vegetables.

After your balloon is removed, your surgeon will discuss options such as continuing your new diet and exercise regimen, replacing your balloon with a new one, or potentially transitioning to a more permanent type of weight loss surgery.

Exercise: 2.5 hours per week, spread out over 2 to 4 days

Exercise is almost as important as your diet when it comes to long-term success:

  • Patients who exercise regularly lose more weight over the long-term
  • Physical and mental health benefits are incredible

How much exercise do you need to for noticeable results?

While no studies exist for the gastric balloon procedure, one study of gastric bypass patients found that 2.5 hours per week resulted in 5.7% greater excess weight loss (16).

To help you stay on track, block out time to exercise at the same times on the same days of the week.

Also, spread your 2.5 hours per week out over 3 or 4 days (in other words, 30 to 45 minutes 3 or 4 days per week). This will make it less intimidating to get started each day and will help you build endurance.

Exercise Types

There should be 3 main goals of your exercise routine:

  • Endurance – walking, stationary bike, and especially swimming
  • Flexibility – a good stretching routine. Yoga is best since it incorporates proper breathing and uses your own body weight to build strength
  • Strength – exercise balls, weights, and yoga

Click here to learn more about exercise after weight loss surgery.

Your Brain: Careful About Food Addiction, New Mentality Will Change Behavior & Relationships

Food Addiction

Our bodies secrete certain hormones that tell us when we’re hungry. Junk food may override those hormone signals by overstimulating our reward centers. This is just like the way our bodies and brains react to an addictive drug.

You may have food addiction if your desire for food takes priority over other important parts of your life, such as:

  • Personal health
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Work
  • Your appearance
  • Avoiding obesity related health issues like hypertension, sleep apnea, or diabetes

If left unchecked, food addiction can lead to obesity. If not addressed before surgery, it can also lead to weight regain.

To find out if you may be suffering from food addiction, take our Food Addiction Quiz.

Relationships After Weight Loss

Being thinner again, or being thinner for the first time, may be a shocking experience. Many patients express amazement at:

  • Less obesity discrimination. For example, strangers tend to be nicer to thinner people.
  • Being treated with more respect
  • Getting more romantic interest from others
  • Building deeper relationships by being able to physically keep up with kids and more physically fit friends
  • Getting more compliments from others
  • Increased self-confidence and the effect that has on others
  • Improvements in quality of sexual life (17)

But there may be negatives to being thinner as well.

People who you’ve known for a long time will not be used to the way you look and may not know how to act around you. For example:

  • How will overweight friends or family members feel when you’re losing weight but they are not?
  • Will your new healthier diet and smaller portion sizes make meals with others awkward?
  • Could intimacy with your spouse or partner be affected?
  • Could your spouse or partner become jealous now that others are noticing you more?
  • How will your coworkers react? Should you even tell them you are having surgery?
  • Will your friends or family make it difficult for you to stay on track by making bad diet choices?
  • Could your new self-confidence create conflict with people who are used the “old” you?

And what about the new “skinny lens” you see the world through? For example:

  • Would this person be treating me the same way if I hadn’t lost all this weight?
  • How do I handle obesity discrimination now that I’m on the “other side”?

Be prepared for both the good and the challenging “shocks” of weight loss following your gastric balloon procedure.

For real life experiences and advice from other patients, see our Relationships After Weight Loss surgery page.

10.

Balloon Removal (Required After 6 Months)

  • Required After 6 Months

Gastric Balloon

The gastric balloon is not designed as a long-term fix. Because of the risk of it interfering with your stomach, the balloon is usually removed after 6 months. However, it could be left in place anywhere from 12 weeks to 1 year, depending on your results and the type of balloon you receive.

Since the balloon procedure is temporary, it is usually used in tandem with one or both of the following:

  • A managed diet and exercise program – After removal, it is recommended you stick with a managed weight loss program, and then maintain your newly established diet going forward. Most practices combine the balloon with a lifestyle management program for 6 months after the removal of the balloon. This will ensure you maintain the weight you lost while the balloon was in place.
  • An additional bariatric procedure, like the gastric sleeve or Lap-Band, which is performed after the balloon is removed. Any weight loss that results from the balloon will reduce the risk of complications and increase the likelihood of long-term success of a more involved bariatric procedure.

It is also possible to have another balloon inserted after removal. However, because the balloon is used in tandem with a diet and exercise program your surgeon will likely ask you to wait a little while to determine whether there are less invasive ways to maintain a healthy weight.

A qualified surgeon will help you make the best choice.

Gastric Balloon Removal Procedure

The gastric balloon removal procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes and is very similar to the insertion procedure for the Orbera, ReShape, and Spatz systems (Obalon uses swallowed pills for balloon insertion):

  1. No food 24 to 48 hours before surgery (depends on surgeon)
  2. No food or drink 12 hours before surgery
  3. Scope and instrument passed through mouth to deflate balloon(s)
  4. Balloon is removed through the mouth
  5. Return home the same day
11.

Downsides

  • Low risk of complications

  • Mild & temporary side effects

  • Weight regain possible

Gastric Balloon

The intragastric balloon is relatively low-risk and issue-free. However, as with any medical procedure, there are potential risks and side effects.

Potential Gastric Balloon Complications

Potential complications associated with the gastric balloon include (click links for more info):

Acute Pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation in the pancreas. It may occur due to the inflated balloon compressing internal organs. Symptoms can be felt as soon as a few days after the balloon is implanted and include severe abdominal/back pain, bloating, nausea, and loss of appetite.

Early removal of the balloon is likely the only fix. Fortunately, removal of the gastric balloon can be done on an emergency basis if severe complications arise.

Acute pancreatitis following gastric balloon implantation is being investigated by the FDA as a contributor or cause of death in five patients. The FDA has issued a safety alert, warning consumers about risks associated with gastric balloon and acute pancreatitis. The FDA investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released as necessary.

Apollo Endosurgery, a popular gastric balloon provider implemented in the investigation, has defended their product. They report that complications are rare, and that patients often have pre-existing conditions that contribute to health issues after gastric balloon implantation. They emphasize that remaining obese carries more risk than interventions like gastric balloon.

ReShape, the other gastric balloon provider mentioned in the FDA alert, has not released a statement on the investigation.

Anesthesia

Risks associated with any endoscopic procedure and sedation (being “put to sleep”). Many gastric balloon patients do not require full sedation.

Overinflation

If your balloon is overinflated, you may experience strong abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, vomiting, or difficulty breathing as soon as one week after the balloon is implanted. Early removal of the balloon may be required to resolve the issue. More research needs to be done to determine what is causing overinflation.

Overinflation following gastric balloon implantation is being investigated by the FDA as a contributor or cause of death in five patients. They have issued a safety alert, warning consumers about risks associated with the gastric balloon and overinflation. The FDA investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released as necessary.

Apollo Endosurgery, a popular gastric balloon provider, has defended their product. They report that complications are rare, and that patients often have pre-existing conditions that contribute to health issues after gastric balloon implantation. They emphasize that remaining obese carries more risk than interventions like gastric balloon.

Reshape, the other gastric balloon provider mentioned in the FDA alert, has not released a statement on the investigation.

Punctured Esophagus

Because the surgeon uses a scope when performing the procedure, there is a slight chance that the scope could puncture the esophagus. However, this is very rare, with one practice saying that in the several hundred procedures they have performed, they have never encountered the problem.

Stomach Blockage

It is possible for the balloon to deflate in the stomach and cause a blockage. This is why one system, the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System has two, independent balloons – if one deflates the other will keep the entire apparatus in the stomach. Most balloons are also filled with a dye designed to turn your urine an unusual color (like blue or green) so you know to alert your surgeon about an issue with your balloon.

Stomach Ulcer or Rupture

To reduce the risk of an ulcer, your surgeon will most likely prescribe anti-ulcer medication for the entire time the balloon is in your stomach. Stomach rupture is extremely rare, and usually will only happen if you have already had some kind of stomach surgery, which means that most surgeons you speak with will most likely not be willing to perform the procedure if you have already undergone another stomach procedure.

If, in the middle of the procedure, the surgeon discovers an ulcer or a very large hiatus hernia, the procedure will be ended prematurely by the surgeon for safety reasons.

See our Bariatric Surgery Complications page for more information about each of these points.

Preventing Gastric Balloon Complications

Behaviors that will dramatically reduce the already low risk of gastric balloon complications include:

  • Pick a good surgeon
  • Follow your surgical team’s advice to the letter
  • Talk with your surgeon about the above list of potential complications. A couple of the issues (acute pancreatitis and over-inflation) are recent discoveries and therefore not included in the device labeling, so your surgeon may be unaware of them unless one of their patients has experienced the issue.
  • Educate yourself
  • Educate your family
  • Eat a healthy diet in the months leading up to your procedure
  • Plan for at least 3 days of recovery time
  • Have an effective support system of friends, family, and weight loss surgery support groups

Gastric Balloon Side Effects

Cramps, Nausea, & Vomiting – Because your stomach will be readjusting to the presence of the balloon, in the first couple weeks after the procedure you will probably experience some combination of cramps, nausea, and possibly vomiting.

After the first couple of weeks, if food sticks to your balloon, you may experience vomiting. To reduce this risk, you should avoid foods that are likely to stick to your balloon, like pasta, and sip water after you eat to rinse your balloon.

Bloating – Some people also report feeling bloated. Most likely this is from the feeling of the balloon in the stomach, however, if you are concerned, speak with your surgeon’s office. Don’t let this feeling discourage you – the feeling is probably an indication that the balloon is doing its job.

Weight Regain

Unless you establish and maintain a proper diet and exercise program or transition to a more involved bariatric surgery, you will regain all of your weight when your balloon is removed.

See the Diet & Life After section above for more information.

12.

Vs Other Weight Loss Procedures

  • Gastric balloon results in less weight loss, carries less risk, and is temporary instead of permanent

Gastric Balloon

Compared with other procedures, the following is generally true about the gastric balloon procedure:

Qualification:
  • Lower BMI range for approval (30 to 40 vs the usual 35+)
Cost & Insurance:
  • Lowest cost if you don’t have insurance that covers weight loss surgery
  • 2nd highest cost if you do have insurance that covers weight loss surgery
Procedure:
  • Fewer qualified surgeons available than gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, duodenal switch, and Lap-Band
  • One of 4 reversible weight loss procedures (alongside Lap-Band, vBloc Therapy, and AspireAssist)
  • Quickest and easiest recovery (only procedure with no incisions)
Results:
  • Temporary solution (no longer than 6 months); all other procedures are intended to be permanent or long-term
  • Less weight loss and less dramatic health improvement than the more involved gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, DS, and Lap-Band
  • Similar weight loss and health improvement as AspireAssist
  • More weight loss and health improvement than vBloc Therapy
Risks:
  • Among the lowest complication and mortality rates
Life After:
  • Fewer diet restrictions than sleeve, bypass, DS, and band (vBloc Therapy and AspireAssist also have minimal diet restrictions)
  • Less severe side effects than sleeve, bypass, DS and band

For a more-detailed comparison, see our Types of Bariatric Surgery page.

13.

Start to Finish

  • 9 steps to long-term weight loss

Gastric Balloon

1. Start Working with a Top Doctor As Soon as Possible

Top doctors will help you navigate the various procedure choices, pre-surgery steps, financing, and insurance options.

  • As a first step, many doctors offer a free initial consultation or a free local seminar or webinar to give you a better understanding of what to expect.
  • Many will also provide a free insurance check to help you figure out how much insurance will cover, and, if necessary, appeal any denials or find additional financing. Most insurance companies require you to complete a medically supervised diet and exercise program before they will approve your surgery, so your doctor will set this up for you if you haven’t done so already.
  • Your doctor will also push you towards new habits that will be essential to long-term success after surgery. Many doctors will recommend that you attend support group meetings so you can listen to feedback from actual patients.

2. 2 Weeks Out

By 2 weeks out you will have completed your pre-op tests, physical, and any other necessary steps required by your doctor or insurance company. You should have insurance approval (if applicable), and you should be well on your way towards developing your new long-term lifestyle and diet habits.

In the week or two leading up to surgery you’ll be seeing the hospital pre-surgery department for an EKG, blood work, and any last minute instructions or other pre-op tests. You’ll see the doctor one more time for consents, a pre-operative physical, and any last minute details.

The night before surgery you’ll be asked to not eat or drink anything starting at midnight.

3. Surgery Day

The gastric balloon is one of the quickest and simplest of all weight loss surgery procedures. It usually takes no more than 30 minutes to perform, and most patients return home the same day.

4. Recovery

You’ll likely need someone to drive you home from the hospital and care for you for at least 24 hours following surgery, and your throat may be sore from insertion of the balloon. Full recovery generally happens within 3 or 4 days.

5. Adjust to Your New Post-Surgery Diet & Lifestyle

Over the course of the first two weeks following gastric balloon surgery you will slowly transition from a clear liquid diet to your “new normal” balloon diet, and you should continue your transition into a more active lifestyle. Your doctor’s dietitian or nutritionist will help you determine an appropriate diet which will look similar to any “healthy diet” with the exception of:

  1. Avoiding pasta and other foods that may stick to the balloon (to reduce risk of vomiting)
  2. Needing to sip water after you eat to rinse the balloon (to reduce risk of vomiting)

6. Attend Support Groups Regularly

Regular weight loss surgery support group participation has been found to:

  1. Reduce post-op recovery time
  2. Lead to as much as 12% more long-term weight loss

Your weight loss doctor will provide you with details about local support groups.

7. Ongoing Doctor Visits

Your doctor may schedule a follow up visit within the first 2 weeks following surgery to ensure that you are recovering well and to answer any questions. Subsequent doctor visits will be scheduled on an as-needed basis.

8. Remove or Replace the Balloon

The gastric balloon is not meant to be a long term fix. It will be removed between 3 months and 1 year after it was placed, depending on the type you received.

9. Maintain New Diet & Lifestyle to Continue Losing Weight & Avoid Weight Regain

To maintain or increase weight loss and health improvement after it’s removed, your doctor will discuss options such as continuing your new diet and exercise regimen, replacing your balloon with a new one, or potentially transitioning to a more permanent type of weight loss surgery.

14.

Test Your Knowledge

  • Click here to take the gastric balloon quiz

Gastric Balloon: Test Your Knowledge

Well-educated patients are more likely to be successful over the long-term. Test your knowledge to ensure that you’re ready to take the next step!

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QUESTIONS
Try to answer at least 11 out of 12 questions correctly

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QUESTIONS
Try to answer at least 25 out of 29 questions correctly
15.

Patient Community & Expert Advice

  • Patient experiences

  • Ask the expert

Gastric Balloon

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Gastric Balloon Vs. Gastric Surgery*

I’m wondering if I should be considering gastric surgery (sleeve, lapband, or bypass), or should i get the gastric balloon? I cycle between 40-70 pounds overweight and I am 5’10.…


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* Disclaimers: Content: The information contained in this website is provided for general information purposes and your specific results may vary depending on a variety of circumstances. It is not intended as nor should be relied upon as medical advice. Rather, it is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician(s). Before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should seek the advice of a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional. Advertising: Bariatric Surgery Source, LLC has entered into referral and advertising arrangements with certain medical practices, original equipment manufacturers, and financial companies under which we receive compensation (in the form of flat fees per qualifying action) when you click on links to our partners and/or submit information. Read More