Everything You Need to Know About Gastric Balloon Surgery
Gastric balloon, explained
A successful regimen for weight loss should be able to help you shed the excess pounds and keep it off for a long period.
Gastric balloon surgery offers a clinically proven method of reducing hunger. In this procedure, the surgeon inserts an inflated gastric balloon into your stomach. The balloon also contains saline and will stay inside your stomach for six months to help you get into the habit of eating healthy and to jump-start your weight loss program.
Start of the program
The gastric balloon program commences with a consult with your physician or healthcare provider. Your doctor will fill you in on the details of the program. A patient care coordinator will then assist you with every step of the process and provide you with relevant advice as needed.
Inserting the balloon is essentially an outpatient procedure. The process itself will only take 20 to 30 minutes. After that, you will be transferred to the recovery room where you will be attended to until you can go home within the day.
A look at the gastric balloon
The balloon is mainly a soft sac made of silicone that the surgeon will insert into your stomach. It is then injected with saline. The gastric balloon works to make you feel full so you don’t get hungry too easily. It will be removed six months later, which is more than enough time to get used to healthier eating habits.
Your diet after getting the gastric balloon
During the first week following the gastric balloon surgery, you will be placed on a liquid diet. Your doctor will also advise you to increase your water intake. After a week, the dietician will provide you with a meal program where you can start eating solids. The diet program will consist of calorie restrictions to help you get started with your weight loss plan.
For the next six months that you have the balloon in your stomach, you will need to follow a diet program specifically designed for your condition. You will also need to meet with the team that handles your case to monitor your progress and provide you with sufficient training and education on proper weight loss. The program will make it easier for you to gradually get used to the lifestyle changes that will help you maintain weight loss later on when you don’t have the gastric balloon in your stomach.
Education for lifestyle changes
You will need to participate in regular meetings with your team. These meetings will teach you the principles that you have to adopt for efficient weight management, which will also lead you to improved health. These include proper nutrition, getting sufficient exercise, better eating behaviors, and addressing psychological concerns that may be associated with your food intake. While you’re undergoing training and education, your gradual success will continue to motivate you to stick to these principles and turn them into habits that you will practice.
Gastric balloon advantages
The program offers a number of advantages compared to conventional weight loss strategies. For one, the technique will make you feel full after reduced food intake. This will help you lose more weight. The program is also supported by medical experts so you have people who know what they’re doing to assist you every step of the way.
The gastric balloon method will also make it easier for you to understand and apply weight management principles that ensure success on the long-term. Finally, the process of inserting the balloon will not require general anesthesia so you are not as vulnerable to complications.
Take note, however, that a gastric balloon program is not a miracle cure. It is a technique to help you adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Gastric balloon and pregnancy
If you’re pregnant or you’re planning to get pregnant, you might want to discuss your options about the program with your doctor so you can weigh the benefits against the potential risks of undergoing this procedure.
Frequently asked questions
Q: How much weight should I expect to lose?
During the program, significant weight loss is expected. You stand to lose an average of 15 to 20 kilos depending on how religiously you have followed the fitness program.
Q: How will the balloon be inserted in my stomach?
The gastric balloon is soft enough to be inserted into the stomach through your esophagus. After that, the silicone sac is injected with sterile saline.
Q: Who made the gastric balloon?
Allergan, the maker of LAP-BAND®, made the gastric balloon.
Q: Am I going to feel the balloon inside my stomach?
You might experience discomfort at first but after that, you will just feel full and satiated because of the gastric balloon.
Q: Does gastric balloon have any adverse effects that I should watch out for?
You may experience nausea, cramping, and vomiting for the first 10 to 21 days following the insertion of the balloon. You need to follow your doctor’s recommendation to increase your fluid intake to minimize these side effects. The doctor may also prescribe medication to address the discomfort as needed.