Today, there are several options for weight loss. From popular diet plans like keto, paleo, intermittent fasting, and all-liquid diet to weight loss medications such as slimming pills, laxatives, herbal teas and supplements, people are constantly looking for ways to shed their excess weight fast.
Cosmetic surgeries are also available such as liposuction. There are also instances that are health related like obesity; bariatric surgeries such as gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and lap band surgery are often the solution. For others who are looking for a non-invasive weight loss treatment, Gastric Balloons are a popular choice.
A Brief History
This form of weight loss treatment has existed for a long time. It was introduced in America during 1985 where the FDA previously approved the device for the first time. Unfortunately, it was taken back seven years later, due to a rising number of side effects and complications. It was not until 2015 that the FDA approved new and improved devices. Today, it has become an efficient and safe way for weight loss.
What is a Gastric Balloon?
Gastric Balloons are medical inflatable silicone devices introduced to the stomach of the patient under a light sedative with the use of an endoscope. The balloon is placed in the stomach and filled with a saline solution. Its size prevents it from passing through the pylorus- which is the farthest part of the stomach.
How Does it Work?
With the gastric balloon inside, it puts a limit on how much food the stomach can take. This induces the feeling of satiety and fullness. The balloon is then removed after a few months to prevent the risk of balloon deterioration or any perforations that may affect and damage the tissues of the stomach.
Ideally, the balloons are inside the stomach for not more than six months but with the advancement of technology, some gastric balloons could be kept for as long as 12 months. Just like how it is placed inside the stomach, it is removed through the use of endoscopy.
It is important to remember that while gastric balloons are effective in limiting food intake- which relatively leads to weight loss, it should be coupled with a healthy and nutrient-balanced diet. Maintaining an active lifestyle through exercise is vital for the success of weight loss.
What are the Results?
Results vary for each individual and it depends on how their body responds to the change and the kind of lifestyle and diet they are taking. Naturally, the aim for any patient is to lose at least 1 kilogram a week for 24 weeks which eventually results in 20-30% weight loss for the whole duration of the treatment. However, bear in mind that the amount of weight loss will ultimately rely on the patient’s circumstances.
What are the Risks?
Gastric Balloons are generally considered as safe procedures since it is reversible and temporary. Essentially, because the procedure doesn’t evolve going under the knife, it is safer than invasive bariatric surgeries.
On rare occasions, incorrect administration of endoscopy results in lacerations in the esophagus and the stomach. There’s the risk of perforation and degradation of the balloon, which is why it is important to follow your doctor’s recommendation as to how long the device should be kept inside the stomach.
During the first few days, feelings of nausea, stomach discomfort, and vomiting are common. It should be fade over time as your body adapts to the foreign object introduced to it.
To minimize these risks, make sure to be in constant communication with your trusted physician.
If you live in the UAE, there are plenty of medical centers that offer the administration of gastric balloons in Dubai. To know if you’re the right candidate for the procedure, and if you have more questions about gastric balloons, you can consult with an expert in Bariatric surgeries. Our experts in Al Taie Center have over 33 years of experience in handling weight loss operations.