There are several types of intra-gastric balloons in the market. Some intragastric balloon require the patient to have an endoscopic guided insertion of the gastric balloon. This procedure is usually done under sedation. A complete upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is performed to exclude cancer, presence of ulcers, stomach abnormalities that will cause any problems if an intragastric balloon is inserted.
Another newer type of intragastric balloon now do not require endoscopy. It can be swallowed, and remains inside the body for a period of time before spontaneously deflate by itself. The deflated balloon is then passed through the gastrointestinal tract and passed out of the body.
Intra-gastric Balloon Insertion: Is it Safe?
Currently, the intra-gastric balloon is a safe and effective option between diets and exercise programs to bariatric and metabolic surgery, with about half of the patients maintaining their weight after the balloon is removed.
The possibility of severe side effects like a perforation in the oesophagus, stomach or small intestine, severe bleeding are not common.
Intragastric Balloon: Treatments and Procedures
Before we discuss the treatment and procedure of intra-gastric balloon, you should first learn the proper preparation if you're going to have an intragastric balloon placed in your stomach. During your consultation, your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions on preparing for your procedure. In addition, a variety of tests and exams may need to be performed before the procedure.
During the time leading up to the procedure, you may need to limit what you eat and drink and any medications you take. Additionally, you may need to begin a new exercise program.
Below is the step-by-step intragastric balloon procedure:
- 1. The consultation -- In addition to discussing your physical fitness goals, the providers will outline the procedure in detail.
- 2. A history and physical examination, a psychological evaluation, and a nutritional evaluation -- you must undergo diagnostic tests so that they can determine whether or not you are eligible for this procedure.
- 3. Inserting the intragastric balloon
- a. Depending on the type of intragastric balloon used, your bariatric surgeon may or may not perform and endoscopic procedure for you.
- b. For the intragastric balloons that require an endoscopy, it will be used to guide the balloon into the stomach. The procedure typically takes 30-40 minutes. This is done under sedation. The balloon typically stays within the stomach for a period of 6 to 12 months.
- c. The the newer type of intragastric balloon, an endoscopy may not be required. Speak to your doctor to discuss your options.
- 4. Removal
- a. Similar to insertion, balloon removal is an outpatient procedure, and ongoing support is provided for up to six months once the balloon has been removed from the stomach.
- b. The newer type of balloon typically will deflate on its own at around 4 months. It is then passed out from the body on it’s own
How much weight can you lose after having Intragastric Balloon Treatment?
Often, you will eat less because you will feel full faster with an intragastric balloon or others called weight loss balloon than you would normally. It may be due to the intragastric balloon slowing down the process of emptying the stomach. The stomach balloon may also affect hormone levels that regulate appetite.
Changing your lifestyle habits, such as diet and exercise, can also affect how much weight you lose.
During the first six months following intragastric balloon placement, weight loss may range from 7% to 15%, based on the summary of currently available treatments. Typically around 30 to 47 percent of the excess weight is lost.
Intragastric Balloon Insertion: What should you Expect Before and After
During the process of IGB procedure:
Intragastric or gastric balloon surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure in the endoscopy unit. A medical expert will administer a sedative before the procedure.
The doctor inserts a thin catheter (tube) with the balloon into your stomach during the procedure. After that, your doctor will advance an endoscope - a flexible tube equipped with a camera - down your throat and into your stomach. When your doctor fills the balloon with saline, they can see the balloon through the camera.
It takes about half an hour to complete the procedure. Following the process, you are usually able to go home one or two hours later.
For the newer balloon, the procedure will also be performed in the endoscopy suite. It is done in the similar fashion except that no scope is required for the insertion. Speak to your bariatric surgeon for more details.
After the procedure:
Drinking clear liquids can be done approximately six hours after surgery. It is usually recommended to keep the liquid diet until the second week when you can begin eating soft foods again. Then, within about three weeks of having an intragastric balloon inserted, you can start eating regular meals. Your doctor’s multidisciplinary team of dieticians will aid you in your recovery phase.
An endoscope is used to remove the intragastric balloon after it has been in place for 6 months. Depending on your and your doctor's plan, you may or may not need a new balloon at that time. For the newer balloon, you will be passing the deflated balloon out.
In addition to meeting with your dietician after your procedure, you'll have regular consultations with your medical team.
Side Effects of Intragastric Balloon Insertion
It is not unusual to experience nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain for a few weeks following the insertion of the device. In rare instances, a balloon rupture or balloon migration may occur. Before undergoing the procedure, you should discuss the risks and benefits thoroughly with your provider. It is very important to keep yourself well hydrated during this period of time.
Dietary Guide After Intragastric Balloon Insertion
This information is a must since it will guide you through step-by-step dietary steps after gastric balloon insertion.
The transition from fluid to solid phases is essential to prevent nausea, vomiting, discomfort, and other unpleasant side effects. However, it means that you should not skip any stage.
Initially, a modified texture diet needs to be followed for two weeks before returning to a regular texture diet. There are four stages to the diet:
- The puree
Stage 1 - Soft fluids for a week
As soon as you can, you can start to sip fluids. However, to achieve the most success after the IGB procedure, wait for about 30 minutes after you eat before you take a drink. Then, throughout the day, try to sip small amounts of fluids.
Stage 2 - puree foods only for about 4 days
At this stage, your food should consist of entirely smooth non-bits food. You can use a blender or liquidiser to create puree food. The reason is for your food to pass easily through your stomach.
It would be better if your food is rich in protein to keep you full longer.
Stage 3 - fork-mashable and soft foods for three days
Soft foods generally have a well-cooked consistency and can be easily mashed with a fork. At this point, a blender isn't necessary.
Stage 4 - you can eat your regular foods (starting from day 15 onwards)
After day 15, you may gradually introduce normal texture foods to your diet, and your diet will become more varied.
Eating three regular meals a day and avoiding a long gap between meals is a good idea.
For the first week following your procedure, we recommend maintaining light exercise, such as walking. Then, two weeks after surgery, you can slowly return to your regular workout routine. It shouldn't take you longer than a month to train regularly without limitations after the procedure.
A balloon weight loss procedure may not result in a significant weight loss or weight regain even when performed correctly. In addition, if you don't change your lifestyle, you are more likely to gain weight. To avoid regaining weight, you should always make healthy changes to your diet and engage in regular physical activity. Speak to your bariatric surgeon who works together with a multidisciplinary team to enhance your success