Gastric balloon surgery is an alternative and temporary weight loss procedure, involving the use of a saline-filled silicone balloon to fill the stomach. This limits the intake of food and make the patient feel fuller for longer.

QUICK DETAILS
WHO IS IT FOR?
  • People within the BMI range of 30-40.
SUCCESS
  • Success rates are high, but long-term efficacy of a gastric balloon requires significant and permanent lifestyle changes.
RECOVERY TIME
  • You can expect some nausea during the week after insertion.
  • The balloon usually empties gradually and must be removed through a second endoscopic procedure.
TREATMENT DURATION
  • The procedure usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes.
POTENTIAL RISKS & SIDE EFFECTS
  • Sore throat
  • Reflux
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bad breath
  • Some of the rarer side-effects include bleeding, chest infection and breathing complications.

Costs

The cost of a gastric balloon procedure varies depending on the country where you are receiving treatment, and your individual needs.

  • Egypt

    €1,790
  • Czech Republic

    €1,920
  • Turkey

    €2,500
HOW DOES IT WORK?

A gastric balloon is a clinical-grade balloon that is filled with water. The idea behind it is to fill up space in your stomach so your capacity for consuming food is greatly diminished. In most cases, the balloon remains in your stomach for anywhere between three to six months. It is hoped that changes in lifestyle will ensure weight stays off after the balloon deflates.

gastric balloon

Here’s a breakdown of how a gastric balloon procedure works:

1. Consultation

Despite being non-invasive, this procedure is not without its risks. The procedure itself can be distressing and painful, and the first few days after aren't easy. You'll be expected to attend a formal consultation with your surgeon to discuss your medical history and the nature of your weight problem. All of the possible side-effects and risks will be explained to you, and you'll be given the opportunity to ask questions.

2.Anaesthesia

Your surgeon will discuss your anaesthesia and pain-relief options with you during the initial consultation. Most patients are given a local anaesthetic in the form of a throat spray. However, you may also be offered sedation to keep you calm and still during what can be a distressing procedure.

3.The Procedure

gastric balloon

The insertion of a gastric balloon begins with a full inspection of the upper digestive tract with an endoscope (a small camera that is guided slowly down the throat). The surgeon is looking for abnormalities that might make the insertion of the balloon dangerous, such as a hiatus hernia, an ulcer or signs of scarring from previous surgery. Once the endoscopy has been completed and no signs of abnormalities have been found, a collapsed balloon is placed on the back of the tongue - which the patient must swallow. The balloon is then slowly inflated with a saline solution and blue dye inside the stomach, while the surgeon observes the process via the endoscope.

Lastly, the endoscope is removed and the balloon stays in place for the next 3 to 6 months.

Most balloons are removed after 6 months using an endoscope. There is now the possibility of inserting the SPATZ balloon which can be refilled after 3 months and hence can be in use for 12 months instead of only 6.

What should I expect?

An endoscopy is often an uncomfortable and disconcerting experience which can lead to throat pain for several days afterwards. While you'll probably be offered a local anaesthetic in the form of a throat spray, you may also be advised to be sedated throughout the procedure. Once the balloon is inflated in your stomach, you may experience nausea and vomiting. These symptoms usually pass after a day or two, but they can persist longer. The insertion process isn't pleasant, and it's only natural to be a little frightened - both before and after the procedure. If possible, get a friend or relative to come to the hospital or clinic with you. While they won't be allowed to sit with you, knowing they're outside might provide some comfort.

WHERE CAN I FIND A DOCTOR?

Qunomedical Health Managers have an all-round knowledge to find the right specialist for you. Learn more about Qunomedical.