Successful elimination of obesity depends on the correct choice of treatment. Gastric balloon is one of these treatment methods. Intragastric balloon, which is a non-surgical application, is one of the most preferred methods in the treatment of obesity. With this application, which is especially preferred by patients who are afraid of stomach reduction operations, patients can return to their routine life in a short time and start losing weight with the right diet.
“What is gastric balloon?” This question can be answered as a method used in bariatric surgery since 1985. In this method, empty balloons are placed in the stomach with the help of endoscopy and then filled with air or liquid according to the type of balloon. Balloons with a full volume of 400 to 700 ml usually stay in the stomach for 6 months, but some balloons can last up to 12 months. This time may differ depending on the application technique, the type of balloon and the patient. The expired balloon is emptied and removed from the stomach with the help of endoscopy. The biggest benefit it provides is that it greatly limits the amount of nutrients taken and as a result prevents overeating. Thus, over time, the patient's eating habit changes. As long as the balloon stays in the stomach, these habits can become permanent and the results can be preserved.
Some preparations are made for gastric balloon placement, which is placed with an endoscopic method, and certain steps are followed. These steps are as follows:
- In the first step, two flexible tubes are sent to the stomach in order to reach and view the stomach.
- In the second step, liquid is injected into the deflated balloon to inflate it.
- When the balloon gains sufficient volume, it is separated from the delivery system and the two tubes are removed from the body.
If you want to have a gastric balloon, which is a non-surgical application, you must meet some important criteria. Requirements for these criteria are as follows:
- Those with a body mass index of 30 and above
- Those who have diseases such as diabetes and blood pressure due to excess weight
- Candidates suitable for obesity surgery
- Emergency patients who need to lose weight quickly
Although the gastric balloon is a non-surgical procedure, it is not applied to everyone. Candidates who are not eligible for the procedure are as follows:
- Those with a body mass index below 30
- Those with stomach inflammation
- Those who want to lose weight due to aesthetic concerns
- Those who have stomach problems
- Patients who have undergone gastric surgery before
- Those with problems in the esophagus
- People addicted to alcohol and drugs
- Pregnant and lactating mothers
- Those with psychological disorders
- Those with blood clotting problems
- Those with large gastric hernia
The purpose of the application is to reduce the internal volume of the stomach and to restrict the food intake. For this reason, the gastric balloon is applied by filling it at a certain rate. The volume occupied by the balloon in the stomach is determined by the doctor by considering various criteria.
During the procedure, sedation is applied so that the person does not experience pain or discomfort. With sedation, the patient is put into sleep and it is ensured that he is not affected by the procedures to be performed.
The entire application, including insertion, adjustment and removal of the balloon from the stomach, takes 25 to 35 minutes. However, this time may increase to 45 minutes depending on the details of the sedation procedure.
Depending on the amount of weight that the patient needs to lose, the preferred gastric balloon stays between 6 and 12 months. However, these balloons are different from each other. Balloons, which can remain in the stomach for 12 months, are inflated in 3-month periods. 6-month-old balloons are not suitable for this schedule. The expired balloon should be removed without delay. Otherwise, it may explode and lead to complications.
Complications after the gastric balloon placement, which is used worldwide for obesity and weight loss, are very rare and can be easily treated. However, these complications are not at a level that threatens the life of the patient. Complications that may occur are as follows:
- Stomach ulcer
- Stomach bleeding
- Reflux esophagitis
- Passage of the balloon into the intestine
- Deflation of the balloon
After the procedure, the gastric balloon goes into the digestion process and therefore, nausea, vomiting and cramps begin 1-2 hours after the procedure. However, this situation is directly related to the patient's pain threshold and may take 3-4 days, differing from person to person. This whole process includes the expected symptoms. For this reason, the doctor may prescribe anti-nausea, stomach-protecting and anti-cramp drugs after the procedure.
A regular diet is extremely important for gastric balloon application. Things to consider in the feeding routine after gastric balloon are as follows:
- The most important point to be considered in the nutrition routine after the gastric balloon insertion is not to consume solid and liquid foods together.
- Again, carbonated drinks should be avoided during this period. These types of drinks can cause an enlargement in the stomach and cause discomfort.
- After the gastric balloon, a diet rich in protein but poor in fat and carbohydrates should be followed.
It is extremely important for the patient to comply with the program prepared by the dietitian, both to improve patients health and to have an efficient weight loss process. Patients who carefully follow this process can acquire habits that will facilitate weight loss and achieve a better quality of life after gastric balloon application.
When Can I Return To Work After Gastric Balloon Insertion?
Gastric balloon is not a procedure that affects routine life. The patient can continue his life from where he left off after 1 day. However, the patient should avoid heavy exercise for 2-3 weeks after the balloon is inserted in order to avoid any problems with electrolyte and fluid balance.
What should be the frequency of follow-up after the gastric balloon is inserted?
It is extremely important to implement a follow-up program in order to be able to pass through the process efficiently and to adopt a new lifestyle after the gastric balloon. For this reason, patients should have diet control, weight measurement and body analysis by meeting with the doctor and dietitian once a month. Implementing this routine provides long-term success by facilitating observations and evaluation of the progression.
Can I Travel After Gastric Balloon Insertion?
There is no problem for the patient to travel after the gastric balloon procedure.
Can I use Medication After Gastric Balloon Insertion?
Since the gastric balloon affects the emptying time of the stomach, it may slow down the time it takes for the drug to take effect. In addition, when using the drug after the gastric balloon is inserted, the side effects of the drug in the stomach should be taken into account, and drugs that may cause stomach bleeding and stomach ulcers should be avoided.
What to Do When Gastric Balloon Deflates?
The gastric balloon is filled with a blue dye. For this reason, in case of any explosion or extinction, the urine of the person may turn blue or green. This makes it easy to detect any problem. Patients who experience such a situation should consult their doctor without wasting time.