While there are many positive reasons patients choose to go with the nonsurgical weight loss solution such as a Gastric Balloon, there are risks and drawbacks as well. The gastric balloon procedure (or, “endoscopic intragastric balloon”) leaves 1 to 3 inflated silicon balloons in the stomach for 6 months, making less room for food. The gastric balloon procedure is performed differently depending on which balloon type you choose, as well. The average gastric balloon patient loses a moderate amount of weight very quickly after the procedure, between 15-30% between a 3 to 6 month period before the balloons are removed.

When a Gastric Balloon is placed inside a patient, the balloon is inflated with a sterile solution, which takes up room in the stomach. While nausea and stomach discomfort are expected in the days immediately following the procedure, those symptoms typically start and disappear. Weight gain is quite possible with this procedure as well, and most patients only see a 5-10% decrease in weight. The device can only be placed for patients at recommended facilities that can offer follow-ups for patients after the gastric balloon is removed.

The most popular types of balloon weight loss surgery must be removed after 6 months, so long-term weight loss depends entirely on the patient’s diet and lifestyle choices. The gastric balloon should not be viewed as a long-term solution, but rather a step in the right direction to the lose the weight the patient will need to lose before undergoing a more permanent weight loss surgery such as the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery.

In fact, some patients use the balloon to lose weight before having a more involved procedure like the gastric sleeve. More involved procedures have a lower complication rate when patients weigh less before surgery, so you may want to discuss this option with your surgeon. The decision to move forward with weight loss surgery should not be taken lightly. The surgeons at Western Bariatric Institute (WBI)  perform multiple types of weight loss surgical procedures which allow patients to have options in determining the safest and most effective procedure for their situation.

Weight loss surgery should be treated as a platform from which patients can make lifelong changes to their dietary and exercise habits. Each procedure has its own pros and cons and should be discussed fully with your surgeon. It is imperative for patients to have an in-depth understanding of the procedures prior to surgery.

 To learn more, please register for one of our free informational seminars by either clicking here or by calling (877) 985-6771.