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Gastric Balloon (Orbera)

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For patients interested in losing weight with a BMI over 30, a gastric balloon is an effective way to reduce your appetite and regain control of your body weight — all without surgery.  (The balloon is sometimes called Orbera, the brand name of the device itself, or an intragastric balloon.) Because the balloon is removed after 6 months, a commitment to a healthy diet and lifestyle are essential for long-term results. 

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What is the gastric balloon procedure?

The gastric balloon procedure is done in an endoscopic or operating room suite. The patient will be given deep sedation by an anesthesiologist. Once adequately sedated, the balloon will be advanced through the mouth and into the stomach using an endoscope.

The balloon is then inflated with approximately 600 mi of saline. At this volume, the balloon will fill a significant portion of the space inside the stomach giving the patient a continual sensation of fullness. This will decrease food intake and lead to weight loss. The balloon is left in place for 6 months, after which it is removed.

Who is eligible for a gastric balloon?

The gastric balloon is designed for patients with BMIs ranging from 30 to 40. Typically, this group of patients has between 30 and 100 pounds of excess body weight.

Good candidates for an gastric balloon:

  • Want to lose a good deal of weight, but have not had success with diet and exercise
  • Want to not only lose weight but also to change their eating habits for the long term
  • Want to lose weight without surgery
  • Have not already had weight loss surgery

BMI calculator

You can calculate your BMI using the BMI calculator on our site. 

Is a gastric balloon right for me?

A consultation with Dr. Scott Perryman will reassure a patient that they are not only selecting the best weight loss procedure for them but that they are also making the best, sustainable long-term changes to their habits. 

During a consultation, Dr. Perryman will make sure patients are aware of all procedures available to them, what the effects on their bodies will be, the expected weight loss they can see, and what lifestyle changes would ensure ideal, long-lasting results. The consultation will also involve a review of the patient’s medical history and a physical examination.

If a gastric balloon is determined to be the best weight loss option for the patient, the surgeons will cover all aspects of the procedure, including the pre-operative steps and recovery, to make sure the patient feels comfortable well in advance of their procedure.

During their consultation with one of Whole Health Weight Loss Institute’s board-certified surgeon, patients will also have a conversation with a dietitian, who will discuss immediate post-operative diet, as well as long-term dietary habits, with them. She will go over doable, valuable dietary routines and provide nutritional insights that will enable the patient to form their own healthy and sustainable way of living.

Patients interested in seeing major medical weight loss, and in learning what they can do to guarantee the weight stays off, can call to schedule their consultation today.

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What are alternatives to a gastric balloon?

A gastric balloon is a good, non-surgical option for patients carrying 30 to 100 extra pounds of body weight. More involved but effective weight loss options include the gastric sleeve and the gastric band.  Your doctor will review your needs and goals, and help you decide which weight loss procedure will be best for you. 

What is the gastric balloon procedure like?

Patients may be instructed to fast without food for up to 24 hours, and without water for the 12 hours before their procedure.

When a patient receives an gastric balloon, the patient will be put under deep sedation. A plastic mouth guard will be put in place to keep the patient’s teeth protected and mouth open. A gastric balloon procedure usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes to perform.

The surgeon will pass a small scope through the esophagus to the stomach; the patient will be able to still breathe comfortably. The surgeon may, in fact, pass air down the patient’s esophagus to improve the view of the scope. This can sometimes cause the patient later to burp. The scope will be removed. The deflated balloon will be guided into the patient’s stomach. After the surgeon inflates the balloon with saline, they follow again with the scope in order to confirm proper placement. Patients can return home the same day that they receive their gastric balloon.

The surgeons and their staff want patients to feel confident in their recovery well before the day of their procedure. Everyone is encouraged to reach out to the team at Whole Health Weight Loss Institute with any questions they may have.

After six months, patients will return to have their intragastric balloon removed in a similar procedure.

There are a variety of intragastric balloons available for medical weight loss treatment. Ask Dr. Perryman what option may be right for you.

What are the benefits of a gastric balloon procedure?

Patients typically lose 25-30% of their excess body weight at 1-year post-procedure. During the six-month period that the balloon is in the patient’s stomach, patients feel fuller and thus consume less food, promoting weight loss. The intragastric balloon enables patients to curb their appetites and adjust to a healthier lifestyle they can embrace for their future.

Weight-related medical problems may go away but this will depend on the extent of weight loss and ability to maintain the weight loss.

Patients who modify their intake of food and stay focused on maintaining a healthy weight in the long-term can see an improvement in their fight against diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or blood and joint diseases.

After patients achieve major weight loss and are holding at a steady weight, they can assess the changes in their body, and assess if any cosmetic surgery may be necessary to help them achieve their ideal, healthy body.

An intragastric balloon is an effective way for patients to lose a significant amount of weight in a short period of time, without surgery.

How long will it take to recover from a gastric balloon procedure?

Recovery will depend on the patient; usually, recipients of a balloon are able to go back to work in one to three days. Patients, however, should expect to experience postoperative nausea, with or without vomiting.

Some patients experience acid reflux and stomach cramps after receiving their gastric balloon, which can be treated with anti-reflux medication. Recovery following placement of an gastric balloon is fast as there are no incisions and no abdominal cavity intrusion.

Patients may experience a sore throat after their gastric balloon procedure. It is recommended that a patient arranges for a ride home the day of their appointment. Patients may also benefit from asking someone to help them with their tasks and meals the rest of the first day, to make for a smoother recovery.

Before the patient begins recovery, the dietitian will also familiarize them with the targeted diet that they will want to follow in the weeks after their procedure.

Patients are usually advised to follow a liquid diet the first week of their recovery, and move up to a pureed food diet the second.

What results can be expected from a gastric balloon?

Due to the weight loss, patients can experience an improvement in their fight against certain health conditions, as well as an overall improved sense of confidence and happiness with their new, thinner body. The team at Whole Weight Loss Institute will mindfully craft a diet and exercise regimen for patients, in order to enable them to make a comprehensive lifestyle overhaul that they can maintain and benefit from for years to come.

Over the six months patients carry the intragastric balloon in their stomach, they usually lose up to 30% of their excess body weight.

Once patients are at a stable weight a year or more after their weight loss, they may decide to undergo surgery to have any resulting excess skin removed.

How much does a gastric balloon cost?

To learn more about the expense behind receiving a gastric balloon, schedule your consultation with the weight loss surgeons at Whole Health Weight Loss Institute today. After assessing your specific case and determining what option will best meet your weight loss needs, they can provide you a cost breakdown for your personal treatment plan.

Insurance does not typically cover intragastric balloon treatment.