Gastric balloons are reasonably new devices that offer people a non-surgical way of treating obesity. If the gastric balloon is used together with an excellent diet and fitness plan, it can help people achieve both the health and esthetic benefits of weight loss.
What Is the Gastric Balloon?
There are different manufacturers of gastric balloons, each using their own system. However, by and large, they all use a soft, pliable, silicone, expandable balloon, which is put in place with an endoscopic tube (although a pill form now also exists), and a filling system (usually a sterile saline solution, but it can also be gas). The balloon is put inside the stomach, through the mouth and esophagus, after which it is filled with the filling system. Once it is full, the balloon takes up a huge proportion of the stomach (around 80%), which means it is too big to go through the digestive system. Because of the place it takes up, the person is no longer to eat as possible.
Can I Have a Gastric Balloon?
If you have a BMI of over 32, then you may be a suitable candidate for the gastric balloon. It can help you to experience long term, sustainable weight loss, while at the same time preventing the development of comorbid disorders such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. If those conditions have already been diagnosed, the weight loss associated with the balloon can help better to manage them.
The balloon is also suitable for those people who are so heavy, they cannot withstand the anesthetic required for full weight loss surgery. In that case, the balloon can help them to bring their weight down to a more acceptable level. The gastric balloon remains in place for six months, but can be repeated in cases of extreme weight loss. While this weight loss commences, people also start to see an improvement in their comorbid disorders.
You need to see a physician to confirm your current BMI, and they will also do a full assessment. Based on that, they will determine whether you are a suitable candidate or not.
The Advantages of the Gastric Balloon
If all goes well, you should be able to experience long term, sustainable weight loss. However, you do have to be 100% committed to your new lifestyle, which includes healthy eating and regular exercise. If you do achieve this long term weight loss, you should also see a significant improvement in other health problems you may have experienced because of your weight, including:
- High blood pressure.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Mobility problems.
- Sleep apnea.
That being said, the greatest attraction, and perhaps benefit, of the gastric balloon is that it is not a surgical option and that it is minimally invasive. This means that you don’t have to recover at home for many weeks, run the risk of very serious complications, and have a completely altered digestive system for the rest of your life.