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In recent years, the field of medical science has witnessed remarkable advancements in the treatment of obesity and related health conditions. One such innovation that has gained significant attention is the Gastric Balloon Procedure. Designed as a non-surgical intervention, this minimally invasive technique has shown promise in helping individuals achieve substantial weight loss and improve their overall health. In this article we explore the multifaceted benefits of the Gastric Balloon Procedure, shedding light on the effects gastric balloon has on patients and its potential to transform the lives of those struggling with excess weight.

While lifestyle modifications and dietary changes remain primary avenues for weight management, certain individuals may require additional support. Gastric Balloon surgery, or rather Gastric Balloon procedure, presents itself as an effective tool, particularly for those who have struggled with traditional weight loss methods or who may not qualify for invasive surgical interventions.

By addressing both physical and psychological aspects of weight loss, the weight loss balloon offers a holistic pathway toward improved health and quality of life for those who embark on this transformative journey.


Understanding the Role of a Gastric Balloon in Weight Loss

When it comes to non-surgical weight loss solutions, the intragastric balloon is a popular choice. This innovative procedure involves the placement of a soft, expandable balloon into the stomach, which aids in controlling hunger and promoting feelings of fullness. The stomach balloon, filled with saline, occupies a significant portion of the stomach, thereby limiting the amount of food one can consume and leading to weight loss.

It’s important to note that a gastric balloon is not a permanent solution, but rather a temporary tool for weight loss. Typically, gastric balloon removal happens after six to eight months, during which time patients are encouraged to adopt healthier eating habits and a more active lifestyle. The ultimate goal is to help individuals make long-term changes to their diet and exercise routines. The intragastric balloon serves as a catalyst for weight loss, providing the initial push needed for individuals to embark on their journey towards healthier living.





The Procedure: What is a gastric balloon procedure?

Often referred to wrongly as gastric balloon surgery, the gastric balloon procedure is actually a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that typically takes about 20 minutes. The gastric balloon is inserted through the mouth and down into the stomach using an endoscope – a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end. 

Once in place, the gastric balloon is filled with saline solution to about the size of a grapefruit. The endoscope is then removed, leaving the balloon in the stomach. The intragastric balloon takes up space in the stomach, helping the patient to feel fuller faster and consume less food. The procedure is considered minimally invasive and is reversible, making it a popular choice for those seeking non-surgical weight loss solutions.

However, like any medical procedure, the gastric balloon insertion comes with its own set of pros and cons. On the positive side, it is a non-surgical procedure, meaning there is no need for incisions, stitches or scars. It is also temporary and reversible. On the downside, some patients may experience mild side effects after the procedure, although these symptoms usually subside within a few days. Despite these risks, many patients find the gastric balloon results, such as significant weight loss and improved health, to outweigh the potential downsides.


Recovery after the gastric balloon procedure.

The recovery after gastric balloon placement is fast. The gastric balloon placement is done as an outpatient, which means that the patient goes home the same day. Usually, patients stay in the recovery area for an hour or two to get IV fluids before they are discharged. Two to three days off are recommended after the intragastric balloon placement, to allow for resolution of possible symptoms. After that, patients can resume their regular activities.





Potential Risks and Gastric Balloon Side Effects

While the gastric balloon procedure is generally considered safe, it is not without potential risks and side effects. Some patients may experience nausea and vomiting in the first few days after the procedure as the body adjusts to the stomach balloon. Other potential side effects include:

  • Abdominal pain: This is usually temporary and can be managed with medication.
  • Acid reflux: Some patients may experience an increase in heartburn or acid reflux symptoms.
  • Feeling of fullness: The balloon takes up space in the stomach, which can cause a feeling of fullness or discomfort, especially after eating.

Rare complications of gastric balloons include:

  • Intolerance to the balloon: If symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain persist and do not respond to medications, the intragastric balloon may need to be removed early.
  • Balloon deflation: If the gastric balloon deflates, it can migrate into the small bowel and potentially cause an obstruction. This is extremely rare. 
  • Balloon Hyperinflation: The bariatric balloon may increase in size and cause an obstruction in the stomach. This requires early removal of the gastric balloon. 

It’s important to note that the gastric balloon side effects are generally temporary and should improve as your body adjusts to the balloon. However, if you experience severe or persistent symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.


The Effectiveness of Gastric Balloon: What Research Says

Recent studies have shed light on the effects of gastric balloon as a weight loss intervention. Research indicates that patients who undergo this procedure typically lose significantly more weight than those who rely solely on lifestyle changes. 

However, it’s important to note that the gastric balloon is not a magic bullet for weight loss. Success with the gastric balloon procedure requires a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. This includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and regular follow-up appointments with a healthcare provider. A checklist for success might include items such as setting realistic weight loss goals, creating a meal plan, scheduling regular physical activity, and arranging for ongoing medical supervision.

Furthermore, the gastric balloon results go far beyond weight loss. The intragastric balloon procedure has been shown to have additional health benefits. Research has found that it can improve obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and sleep apnea. 

These improvements are likely due to the significant weight loss that patients typically experience after the procedure.


Real-Life Experiences: Success Stories with Gastric Balloons

In the spectrum of weight loss solutions, gastric balloon stands out as a non-surgical, reversible option. Many individuals have found success with this procedure, experiencing significant weight loss and improved health. The stark contrast in appearance and confidence before and after the gastric balloon procedure highlights its transformative impact on individuals’ weight loss journeys.

One such story is of a woman named Lisa, who was struggling with obesity and related health issues. Her 6 month gastric balloon results were remarkable: 50 pounds lost within six months! This drastic change not only improved her physical health but also boosted her confidence and overall quality of life.

Another patient with a significant life change before and after gastric balloon is Karla. Karla was struggling with knee pain and she needed a knee replacement. The surgery could not be performed due to the excess weight she was carrying. She had the Orberal balloon placed and her 6 month gastric balloon results were impressive. Karla lost 63 lbs with Orbera balloon. She then successfully underwent a knee replacement surgery that greatly improved her quality of life. 

Another inspiring story is of our patient John, who was facing severe health risks due to his weight. Despite trying various diets and exercise regimes, he was unable to achieve his weight loss goals. However, after opting Orbera balloon procedure, he experienced a significant transformation. Within just a few months, he lost over 60 pounds and his health improved dramatically. These real-life experiences underscore the potential of the balloon surgery for weight loss and health enhancement.


Picture of a patient after Spatz3 balloon weight loss

Sptaz3 Balloon before and after

Picture of a patient after Spatz3 balloon weight loss

4 months post Spatz3 balloon

Post-Procedure Care and Lifestyle Changes after Gastric Balloon Insertion

Following the insertion of a gastric balloon, it’s crucial to adhere to a healthy lifestyle to maximize the benefits of the intragastric balloon procedure. This includes a balanced diet and regular exercise. It’s important to remember that the intragastric balloon is a tool to aid weight loss, not a cure. Therefore, the patient’s commitment to lifestyle changes is essential. 

Post-procedure care involves regular check-ups to monitor the balloon weight loss results and the patient’s overall health. These check-ups also provide an opportunity to discuss any concerns or gastric balloon side effects, such as nausea or discomfort, which are common in the first few days following the procedure.


Gastric Balloon Removal

The gastric balloon is placed in the stomach temporarily. The Orbera balloon is left in the stomach for 6 months while the Spatz balloon is left for 8 months. After the treatment period is finished, the gastric balloon is removed endoscopically, the same way it was placed. The gastric balloon removal is also an outpatient 15-20 minute procedure performed under sedation.


Types of Gastric Balloons

There are different types of intragastric balloons. The best gastric balloons available in the US are the Orberas balloon and the Spatz balloon.



Orbera Balloon

The Orbera balloon is the number one gastric balloon system in the world. It is a smooth silicone saline-filled intragastric balloon that is placed in the stomach for 6 months. Orbera is a smooth balloon which makes it less likely to cause gastric balloon side effects such as stomach ulcerations. With the Orbera balloon, patients lose 3 times more weight than with diet and exercise alone. While the gastric balloon weight loss can vary, it can be very significant.



Spatz Balloon

The Spatz balloon is the first and only adjustable gastric balloon in the world. The Spatz balloon is placed in the stomach for 8 months as approved by the FDA. The size of the Spatz balloon can be adjusted endoscopically as needed. The stomach balloon size can be decreased in case of ongoing symptoms. The Spatz balloon size can also be increased if the patient hits a weight loss plateau, and this can increase the restriction and enhance the balloon weight loss results.



Non-Surgical Alternative to Weight Loss Surgeries 

We always recommend considering all the non-surgical alternatives to weight loss surgeries and we usually provide all our patients with lifestyle and dietary consultancy to make sure that the procedure is successful. Are you ready to experience a healthier and happier you without adopting drastic measures? Schedule a consultation today and let our team of highly skilled and experienced professionals guide you on your weight loss journey.

Frequently Asked Questions


Who is an ideal candidate for a gastric balloon procedure?

Typically, an ideal candidate for a gastric balloon procedure is someone who is suffering from excess weight and has had difficulty losing weight through traditional methods such as diet and exercise. However, the suitability of the procedure can vary depending on individual health conditions and should be discussed with a healthcare professional.


How long does the gastric balloon stay in the stomach?

The gastric balloon typically stays in the stomach for about six to eight months. After this period, it is usually removed. The exact duration can vary depending on the type of balloon used and the individual’s health condition.


Can the gastric balloon procedure be repeated if necessary?

Yes, the gastric balloon procedure can be repeated if necessary. However, this is generally not the first option and is only considered if the patient has not achieved their weight loss goals and if the healthcare provider deems it safe and beneficial.


What is the recovery time after a gastric balloon insertion?

The recovery time after a gastric balloon insertion can vary from person to person. However, most people are able to return to their normal activities within a few days. It is important to follow the post-procedure care instructions provided by the healthcare provider to ensure a smooth recovery.


What kind of diet and exercise regimen should be followed after the procedure?

After the gastric balloon procedure, a healthy diet and regular exercise are crucial for achieving and maintaining weight loss. The diet should be low in calories and high in nutrients. Regular physical activity is also important. A healthcare provider or a dietitian can provide personalized advice based on the individual’s health condition and lifestyle.


Where can I find a clinic for gastric balloon near me?

While many physicians are performing gastric balloon surgery, or rather gastric balloon procedure, all over the US, you may want to go to a clinic with a high volume of patients that has a good reputation with a solid aftercare program. At The Silhouette Clinic, we work with our patients from day one to provide them with all the support they need in their balloon weight loss journey. Our providers are all board-certified in obesity medicine, and our balloon weight loss success stories speak for our results. We are located in Maryland, just outside Washington, DC. We serve our patients from Maryland, DC, and Virginia in our Rockville location. Our Frederick location is convenient for patients coming from Pennsylvania and West Virginia. But we have patients flying in from out of State to get their gastric balloon surgery done with us. They usually fly back home the next day.


What is the Orbera balloon cost?

The cost of the Orbera balloon can vary depending on various factors, including your geographic location, the specific healthcare facility or clinic where the gastric balloon procedure is performed, and any additional services or support included in the stomach balloon package. On average, the cost of the Orbera balloon procedure in the United States typically ranges from $6,000 to $9,000. It’s important to note that this cost may or may not include pre-procedure consultations, the insertion and removal of the intragastric balloon, follow-up appointments, and any associated medical tests or assessments. Additionally, some clinics may offer financing options or package deals that can affect the overall gastric balloon cost. At The Silhouette Clinic, the Orbera balloon cost is $6,995. This is the price of the gastric balloon package which includes the stomach balloon insertion, the balloon removal, the surgery center fee (for the gastric balloon surgery), the anesthesia fee (for the sedation needed for the gastric balloon procedure), as well as all the follow-up visits with the provider and the dietitian. 


What is the Spatz balloon cost?

At The Silhouette Clinic, the Spatz balloon price is similar to the Orbera balloon. The gastric balloon package is for $6,995. The Spatz balloon package also includes the gastric balloon procedure, the balloon removal, the surgery center, and the anesthesia fees, as well as all the necessary follow up visits. 

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