25 August 2008

This is a short-term treatment that involves placing a deflated silicone balloon into the stomach through the mouth and gullet under sedation. Once in the stomach, the balloon is filled with sterile saline (salt water) and so partially fills the stomach to create a feeling of fullness. Because the balloon fills a significant portion of the stomach, it means that you have to stick to much smaller portion sizes, which means fewer calories.

Adjusting to the gastric balloon
For the first few days you will feel uncomfortable as your stomach adjusts to the presence of the BIB™. During this time you may experience nausea, vomiting, bloating and some cramping until your body adjusts. Thereafter your symptoms should decrease, allowing you to settle into your concentrated weight loss period of around 6 months.

How long does the balloon stay in?
The gastric balloon can stay in place for a maximum of 6 months, though most of the weight loss occurs in the first 4 months. At the end of the 6-month period, the balloon will be removed in a 20-minute procedure similar to that of the placement.

A gastric balloon is ideal for patients who have tried many alternative ways to lose weight, but would prefer to avoid surgery. It’s also a good option for people for whom surgical procedures to treat obesity may be inappropriate.

How much weight will I lose?
Patients who have the gastric balloon implanted can expect to lose around 25-45% of excess weight, which in most cases equates to around 30-50lbs (15-20kg)2,3 Heavier patients may lose substantially more than this.

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