Patients who struggle with weight management have many options today. Among them, gastric balloons offer a minimally invasive method that reduces appetite and provides support for positive lifestyle changes. If you’ve tried losing weight but haven’t seen results, a gastric balloon from Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates, P.A. may provide the solution needed to achieve your weight loss goals.
What is a Gastric Balloon?
A gastric balloon, or stomach balloon, is an inflatable device that is inserted into your stomach without surgery to suppress appetite and reduce weight. Gastric balloons are temporary solutions that are typically left in the stomach for six months. During this period, Dr. Andrei helps patients implement lifestyle changes to lose weight. Gastric balloons are recommended for patients who have tried diet and exercise but have been unsuccessful and in situations when surgery is not recommended.
The average stomach is 1.5 liters in volume. Once inserted, a gastric balloon takes up about half of that space, leaving around 60% of the stomach available to hold and digest food. The balloon restricts the flow of food and water, slowing their passage and making you feel fuller faster. After six months, the balloon is removed without surgery, leaving you prepared to make the most of your weight loss journey.
Is a Gastric Balloon Right for You?
Weighing the benefits and disadvantages of gastric balloons is an important step in patients’ decision-making processes. Here’s what you should know before considering this procedure.
- Unlike surgical methods, the temporary gastric balloon is easily removed at the end of your six-month weight loss period or should complications arise.
- Even laparoscopic surgery creates scarring, but with no incisions, the gastric balloon completely eliminates scarring.
- The insertion and removal of your gastric balloon require only light sedation for a quick, effortless procedure.
- Post-op recovery time is minimal, so you can get back to daily life right away.
- Your stomach’s capacity will not be permanently altered, and food intake will not be restricted once the balloon is removed.
- Although uncommon, some patients experience nausea or discomfort after the gastric balloon is inserted. Additionally, the balloon may leak or deflate in rare cases.
- The gastric balloon requires a second procedure for removal and regular follow-up appointments.
- Despite its value for patients with significant amounts of weight to lose, this procedure is not covered by insurance. However, several financing options are available to help manage costs.
Although it’s a simple procedure, a gastric balloon is not the right choice for everyone. A gastric balloon is recommended for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 40 who have not undergone prior stomach or esophageal surgery. Additionally, you must be willing to make important lifestyle changes and commit to regular follow-up appointments. Dr. Andrei will work with you to determine if you are a good candidate for a gastric balloon and which surgical and nonsurgical weight loss procedures might offer alternatives.
Learn More about Gastric Balloons
Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates, P.A. has helped thousands of patients achieve their weight loss goals and better health with gastric balloons and other weight loss methods. To learn more, attend one of Dr. Andrei’s seminars for additional information. If you’re ready to take the first step toward lasting weight loss, contact us now to schedule a free consultation.