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INTRAGASTRIC BALLON

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Intragastric balloon is an alternative for surgical treatment for overweight individuals with no indication for surgery. Moreover, intragastric balloon can be used to help quick weight loss in obesity patients who are being prepared for surgery. Most of the patients can lose 10-30 % of their total body weight, depending on their body weight at the beginning.

How is intragastric balloon placed?

It is not a surgical procedure. Procedure is performed by endoscopic method after general anesthesia in induced. First, internal surface of the stomach is examined. After it is clear that there is nothing preventing placement of the balloon, intragastric balloon is placed with assistance of an endoscope and dilated with certain amount of air or fluid, depending on the balloon’s characteristics. There are different balloon models which serve the same purpose, some of them allowing fluid levels inside the balloon to be adjusted during the period of treatment. Your operating physician will inform you in detail regarding this subject. You should stop nutrition intake 12 hours before the procedure and fluid intake 6 hours before the procedure. Nausea may occur following the dilation of the balloon there so it is important to comply with this. The procedure takes approximately 20 minutes. You will stay under observation for 1-2 hours after the procedure, you may return home after. This procedure is performed under anesthesia, there so you cannot drive on that day after the operation. While it is not as effective as the surgical procedures, certain amount of weight loss can be achieved with intragastric balloon.

Advantages

  1. This is not a surgical procedure.
  2. Procedure is performed easily and quickly.
  3. When combined with diet and exercise; this procedure may provide effective weight loss in long term.
  4. 30% of the total body weight can be decreased with intragastric balloon at maximum.

Disadvantages

  1. Some patients may develop intolerance to the balloon. Nausea, vomiting attacks and gastric cramps may occur on the first days after the procedure.
  2. Procedure may cause acid reflux, there so patients might need to use medication to decrease gastric acid.
  3. It can only stay in the stomach for a year at maximum. After that, removal is necessary.
  4. there is risk of regaining the weight after removal of the balloon.

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