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Gastric Balloon. Excessive obesity is a severe health problem that causes significant discomfort in almost all systems of the body, especially cardiovascular and endocrine. The most crucial reason why diets cannot be maintained is feelings of hunger and unsaturation. For this reason, scientists have produced the gastric balloon, which is one of the methods we perform on the stomach and brings solutions to overweight.

We use the balloon in the temporary treatment of obesity. It is of great benefit to the patient in that it significantly reduces the risks of other diseases related to obesity. It helps to lose weight and maintain lost weight. The most significant benefit is that the patient provides long-term support, such as 6 months, to acquire a new eating habit.

Attenuation of patients who will undergo surgery before obesity surgery helps to reduce surgical risks. For this reason, it is recommended to be used as the first step in patients with super obese or adverse severe diseases.

After the balloon is removed, it should be ensured that the person’s weight loss continues with a diet program. Otherwise, it is possible to recover the lost weight quickly.

The balloon should not remain in the stomach for more than six months. In cases exceeding this period, the silicone begins to deteriorate and the removal process, which is a highly sophisticated attempt, becomes more difficult. It is useful to repeat; Serious complications such as oesophagus or perforation in the stomach may occur in the removal process in hands not familiar with these procedures. In expert hands, these risks are close to zero.

After the required time, specialist doctors remove the balloon from the stomach endoscopically.

The method allows the patient to lose around 20-25% weight within six months. It will enable the patient to lose weight up to 30-40 pounds with regular application of diet and exercise programs. The ability to lose weight and the amount of weight lost also depends on the motivation for a new lifestyle and determination to change eating habits. In other words, it is possible not to lose weight even though the balloon is attached.

The condition of the patients that prefer Gastric Balloon is an essential condition for the success of the treatment. The willingness of the patient to change his eating habits and lifestyle contribute significantly to the healing process.

What is a Stomach Balloon?

Endoscopic intragastric balloon, or gastric balloon for short, is a valid and non-surgical method of obesity treatment applied worldwide. The idea of controlling obesity by giving satiety with a balloon was born for the first time in 1982. The gastric balloon is widely used in overweight and treating obese people who have not been on the surgical margin in recent years.

The use of Gastric Balloon as a non-surgical obesity treatment is a known and valid method all over the world. The idea is to control obesity by giving a feeling of satiety with the help of a balloon that occupies mass in the stomach. Scientists have proven with hundreds of studies that it has achieved successful weight loss with many different types of balloons ever since.

At a scientific congress held in Florida in 1987, many international experts came together to determine the essential design criteria for the ideal gastric balloon. In this way, the new generation of stomach balloons has become an accepted treatment method all over Europe. For this reason, many people consider the stomach balloon, which can be applied with the endoscopic technique, without requiring surgery. 

Gastric Balloon Types

The types vary according to the application time and the substance placed in it. Scientists name them with juicy balloons, air balloons, six-month balloons, 12-month balloons. Moreover, stomach protectors and drugs for insulin resistance will support the treatment after the gastric balloon is applied. While some of the air balloons have some advantages in terms of adaptation, some doctors claim that water balloons are a bit more effective in terms of weight loss.

Orbera has been applied to over 250 thousand people until today. Doctors inflate the balloon with liquid, attach it for 6 months, and remove it after extinguishing it with endoscopy after 6 months.

ReShape consists of 2 merged balloons. 2 balloons are filled with 450 millilitres of water. It is removed after quenching with endoscopy at the end of 6 months.

Obalon is the type that is swallowed without the need for an endoscopy. It is filled with 250 ml of nitrogen mixed gas. Before inflating, it is necessary to check that the balloons are in the stomach by fluoroscopy. Three Obalons remain in the stomach of the patient for 6 months. At the end of 6 months, the doctor removes the balloon after extinguishing it with endoscopy.

The Spatz balloon stays in the stomach for 12 months. Thanks to the flexible connector tube at the end, it provides the opportunity to shrink or enlarge the balloon with the endoscope when necessary. It has more than 10 thousand hanging experience in the world.

The Ellipse Balloon does not need an endoscopy to attach. The patient swallows the balloon. The doctor inflates the balloon with 550 millilitres of fluid through the catheter it is attached to. It discharges automatically after 4 months thanks to its special valve. There is no need for endoscopy as it is made of thin material. The patient naturally throws the balloon out of his body.

Technical Details

Today, there are a number of stomach balloons on the market. The two most important groups are those filled with liquid or air. Generally, the balloon is produced to withstand stomach acid for 6 months. Consequently, all balloons are designed to be left in the stomach for a long duration.

As a result, all the balloons create a mass effect in the patient’s stomach and act by creating a feeling of satiety. Doctors also state that the system also reduces the feeling of hunger on the hormone Ghrelin by delaying gastric emptying.

How To Attach A Stomach Balloon?

When doctors place the balloon in the stomach, they do it with the help of an illuminated camera. This device has an average thickness of 0.8-12 mm, flexible to pass through the oesophagus easily.

The conscious sedation technique, which is applied by the anesthesiologist during the procedure, allows the patient to sleep for 10-15 minutes without stopping the breathing fully. In other words, you cannot feel or remember anything during the process.

After the patient is put to sleep, a complete endoscopic examination is performed first. In other words, the upper digestive system is examined, from the oesophagus to the intestine. If doctors do not observe reflux, ulcers, severe gastritis or a suspicious lesion in the stomach, they remove the endoscope and lower the balloon to the stomach.

Then, by observing with an endoscope, the balloon is gradually filled. To fill the balloon, a form of an ink, called methylene blue, is added, using saline. The purpose of this is to ensure that the patient comes to control by noticing the colour in the urine in case of the slightest leak.

The whole process takes about 10 minutes. The patient then comes to himself immediately and leaves the hospital after 1-2 hours of rest. No discomfort occurs in the early period after the procedure. After a few hours, there may be symptoms such as stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.

These side effects depend on the mass effect the balloon creates on the stomach and usually lasts no more than 3-4 days. During this process, symptoms are relieved with medicines to be taken orally and intravenously. Very rarely, if the patient cannot consume enough fluids, the serum should be supplemented through the vascular access. In most patients, complaints disappear entirely at the end of the first week. Very rarely, when the symptoms are not relieved, and the balloon cannot be tolerated despite all treatments, doctors decide to remove the balloon early.

How to Remove the Gastric Balloon?

At the end of the 6 months, the doctors remove the balloon again with the endoscopic method. First, they drain the liquid inside the balloon with a special apparatus, then they hold the balloon with a unique holder and remove it from the stomach. Keep in mind that the instruments contained in a standard endoscopy unit will not work for balloon removal. In this sense, balloon insertion and removal are very important to be performed by bariatric surgeons with endoscopy experience.

Stomach Balloon Application 2020 Prices

Compared to 2019, there was no significant increase in stomach balloon prices in 2020. It should also be noted that there are many factors affecting the price in the gastric balloon, as in the types of obesity surgery. Variables such as the competence of the surgeon n, the hospital or health centre and the materials determine the price. Keep in mind that private insurance companies do not meet this procedure.

Who Can Prefer Gastric Balloon Operation?

Gastric Balloon is a non-surgical, drug-free alternative treatment method of obesity. Cases suitable for use:

  • Patients between 18-60 years old
  • Patients who are not eligible for surgery between BMI 30-39
  • Patients who are over BMI 35 and need serious preoperative slimming because they have serious risks
  • Patients who have previously tried other methods and failed
  • Those who do not have problems such as large gastric hernia, stenosis and ulcers in the digestive system
  • Those who are at risk of becoming pregnant and unlikely for 12 months
  • People without alcohol and drug addiction
  • Those with no previous bariatric surgery, bowel obstruction or a history of peritonitis
  • Those without chronic high-dose painkillers or a history of aspirin use

Patients who are not suitable for gastric balloon:

  • Those with a body mass index below 30: Over 27 in the USA, Canada, Australia, and over 27 are eligible cases in the UK. In short, this method should not be used only for cosmetic purposes in obese individuals whose body mass index is not suitable.
  • Those at risk for upper gastrointestinal bleeding, such as oesophagal or gastric problems
  • Those with digestive system problems such as atresia or stenosis
  • Patients with mental retardation, emotionally unstable, with significant psychological problems
  • Alcohol and substance addicts
  • Those with a weak health profile that cannot receive anaesthesia, albeit mildly.
  • People with large stomach hernia
  • Those who had undergone surgery before

Risks and Complications of Gastric Balloon

Serious side effects are rare after the balloon has been placed and removed. Pain and nausea affect about a third of people a few days after the placement of the stomach balloon. However, these symptoms usually last only a few days after the balloon is placed. Doctors often treat these symptoms at home with oral medications.

In some cases, the balloon goes out. The risk of this is the possibility that if the balloon goes out, it will act on your digestive system. This causes a blockage that may require an additional procedure or surgery to remove the balloon. Other possible risks are the formation of a hole that may need surgery to fix the ulcer or stomach wall.

In addition, the body losing too much fluid called dehydration due to insufficient fluid intake is also an infrequent complication. If the patient cannot consume enough liquid for any reason, serum may be given.

Doctors use methylene blue to detect the balloon coming off prematurely. If the strength of the balloon is suspected, a simple abdominal x-ray or ultrasound will be sufficient. Intestinal obstruction is extremely rare.

What are the Results of the Gastric Balloon Application?

The primary mechanism of action of the balloon is to create a feeling of satiety and to restrict food intake with its partial footprint in the stomach. Choosing the right patient, proper dietetic, and behavioural therapy are critical points in the success of the balloon. However, there is no guarantee that any patient will lose weight. Those who wear a stomach balloon must know that success can only be achieved through nutritional and lifestyle changes.

The most effective period of the surgery is between first 3-4 months. During this period, a decrease in appetite and discomfort in excess food intake is evident. Strict compliance with the nutrition program is essential. An average of 15-20 weight loss is expected. This limit ranges from 0 to 80. Scientists from different countries such as Italy and the Netherlands have presented successful results to the world in numerous studies on hundreds of patients from their forums.

Weight loss is possible after the balloon has been removed. Since it has no long-term or permanent effect, it has not been found in some countries. When the patient does not change their eating habits, problems such as inadequate weight loss or not being able to maintain weight can be encountered. Consequently, even if the balloon comes out, weight loss can continue.

More studies are needed on the long-term outcomes of the balloon. It is imperative to thoroughly understand that this method is a non-surgical, low-risk, and reproducible method that provides a boost to change eating habits. It is not right to wait for the full effect from the balloon or to present the balloon as a great treatment. For this reason, a question such as “stomach balloon or tube stomach” is meaningless.

After Gastric Balloon Operation

The purpose of nutritional changes that should be made after the application of the stomach balloon is to facilitate the adaptation of the body to this new condition as long as the balloon is in the stomach. Stomach Balloon occupies a certain volume in the stomach, allowing individuals to reach satiety with less food.

During the Gastric Balloon process, the patient learns to eat healthily and can maintain his ideal weight. The weight lost during this process may vary depending on the person’s diet, exercise, age, gender, metabolism and other diseases.

Individuals who cannot always try different diets and lose weight often prefer this method. Because while the stomach balloon is in your stomach, you can gain nutritional habits that you can both get rid of the weight you cannot lose and maintain.

The patient has to pay attention to the diet in the following period after the application of the stomach balloon. The recommendations of the doctor and dietitian help the patient to live a regular and healthy life without any weight-related problems in the future.

In the early days, doctors apply liquid diets, depending on the patient’s adaptation, and the patient adapts quite soft foods, and then the transition to solid foods follows the feeding process. In this period, getting support from a nutritionist is very important for both providing food variety and following the nutrition program.

Nutrition

Nutrition for the first 3 days after stomach balloon application should be in the way below.

  • A completely or partially liquid diet is recommended in the first two to three days of administration. Foods such as soups prepared with blender, water, juices, milk, crushed banana and potatoes are suitable. The important points at this stage are:
  • You should eat 3-4 meals a day. (Breakfast, noon, afternoon and dinner.)
  • You should eat your food by taking small bites and in a vertical position.
  • It should be noted that there should be at least 1 hour between meals.
  • It should be avoided as much as possible from additions such as black pepper, oil, salt.
  • It is necessary to drink 1-1.5 litres of water, tea or juice a day.
  • You should avoid cold foods such as coffee, chocolate, ice cream, generally all desserts, fatty foods and grilled meat. If you are going to drink coffee, you should choose the ones without caffeine.

After the fourth day, you can gradually switch to solid foods. The list includes milk or yoghurt (150 ml), biscuits, pasta for lunch (1 spoon), finely prepared chicken (2 pieces), boiled vegetables, afternoon banana, boiled potatoes for dinner, steamed fish, boiled vegetables.

At this stage, doctors apply the patient to solid foods. If it shows negative symptoms, the fluid returns to the diet.

  • It is essential to keep in mind that strict compliance with dietary requirements affects success.
  • After the stomach balloon is placed, our main recommendations regarding eating:
  • Eat your food very slowly and well-chewed
  • It will be useful to eat the food by dividing it into small pieces and serving with small plates.
  • Do not exceed three main meals and three snacks a day
  • Avoid snacking
  • Drink at least 1.5 lt of water per day
  • You should not drink water or liquids at the same time as food. Make it a habit to drink before or after meals
  • Avoid carbonated drinks and strong coffees
  • Never smoke before eating.
  • Do not eat too late
  • Stop eating and drinking at least 2 hours before bedtime
  • If you feel pain in your stomach, first change the lying position.
  • Try to exercise for at least an hour a day.

If your nausea-vomiting does not improve despite medications, if you have constant pain in your stomach or you notice blue in your urine, contact your doctor immediately.

Physical Activity Orientation

After proper evaluation of the heart and respiratory system and physical condition, try to practice daily aerobic exercises (such as walking, swimming, hydro-gymnastics) regularly. Exercises should last at least 40 minutes and include lightweight training according to your trainer’s recommendations.

Psychological Support

After the doctors insert the stomach balloon, they provide psychological support to the patient. The doctor requests to meet his patient at least once a month.

FAQ

How does the Gastric Balloon lose weight?

The balloon process simply provides weight loss by indirectly restricting the amount of food taken into the stomach, which takes up space in the stomach.

What Does the Gastric Balloon Do?

Stomach balloon is useful for weight loss in overweight and obese patients without any surgery.

What are the Pros of the Gastric Balloon?

The Gastric Balloon, which is considered as the last preoperative solution, is preferred because it has a high satisfaction rate and a low risk of complications.