Intragastric Balloon Procedure and Its Benefits

December 21, 2016
FeaturedWeight Loss Options

When exercise routines and diet changes fail to deliver results, the idea of weight loss may seem hopeless. However, the answer may lie in a short-term solution: the intragastric balloon. This minor procedure could offer the change you need to break the food frustration cycle and help you manage your appetite.

What is an intragastric balloon?

An intragastric balloon is a temporary measure that can help you bring about a permanent lifestyle solution. The term intragastric refers to the fact that the balloon sits inside the stomach. The balloon is simply a small pouch made of soft, medical-grade silicone. It’s filled with sterile saline—a solution of salt and water similar to intravenous fluid. It’s a temporary measure because it remains in your stomach just 6 months.

How is an intragastric balloon placed?

The ORBERA™ Intragastric Balloon isn’t traditional weight loss surgery. It isn’t invasive, and since there are no incisions, scarring isn’t an issue. Placement is a fairly straightforward outpatient procedure that takes half an hour or less and requires only light sedation. Your surgeon will:

  • Do a diagnostic endoscopy to make sure you’re a healthy candidate. Thanks to a tiny camera on the end of a thin, flexible tube, your surgeon can see your digestive tract on a color monitor.
  • Insert the deflated balloon through your mouth, down your esophagus and into your stomach.
  • Fill the balloon with saline solution. Typically, the balloon becomes about the size of a grapefruit.

Patients usually return home after 2 hours of recovery. At the end of 6 months, the balloon is emptied and removed in reverse.

How does an intragastric balloon cause weight loss?

The most important thing to understand is that ORBERA™ is a three-pronged way of addressing a weight problem:

  • The balloon fills your stomach, giving you a sense of fullness, or satiety. You won’t feel hungry all the time. You’ll still be able to eat; you’ll just eat smaller portions.
  • It’s the firm deadline that you couldn’t establish on your own. You’ll have your balloon for 6 months – just the right amount of time to transform unhealthy habits into healthy ones and see significant weight loss. The intragastric balloon replaces someday with a fixed date in time.
  • It’s part of a 12-month weight loss program that provides a complete support system. We help you establish a healthy lifestyle program that integrates appropriate levels of exercise with reduced food portions. You’ll have an entire team of professionals offering nutritional, behavioral and emotional support.

What are the benefits of an intragastric balloon?

The intragastric balloon typically triples weight loss that diet and exercise alone couldn’t offer. It’s a 12-month process that focuses on making sustainable changes to your eating habits, your relationship with food, your level of movement and exercise, and how you identify with your body. Some other important things to know are that:

  • Most patients experience their most significant weight loss within the first 3 months. That initial weight loss alone often increases mobility and makes exercise easier. Every pound lost improves ease of movement, and movement elevates mood.
  • By the end of 6 months, you’ll have established a new routine. You’ll know what to eat and how much. You’ll have learned how to replace food with activities and exercise.
  • You’ll have another 6 months to master the lifestyle you’ve practiced – without the balloon but with lots of support.
  • After a year, you’ll be ready to fly solo, but support will still be available to you.
  • It’s a safe procedure. More than 220,000 people have used it to lose weight.

The intragastric balloon is a highly effective option for patients with a body mass index of 30 to 40. If you fear traditional weight loss surgery but are struggling with the lifestyle choices that diet and exercise alone represent, call us at 337-233-9900, or visit our website. At Acadiana Weight Loss Surgery, the focus is on helping you discover what works for you.