Gastric Balloon Surgery is one of the less commonly-known of all weight loss surgery procedures, but is very effective.
Using the Gastric Balloon to restrict the amount of food intake, while creating a full feeling after less food, you can lose a great deal of weight quite quickly.
This type of weight loss surgery places a small inflatable balloon inside the stomach.
Because it is not a permanent surgical rearrangement of the stomach and intestines, it is a considerably less risky operation, compared to Gastric Bypass surgery.
Gastric Balloon surgery is almost always performed via key-hole surgery or Laparoscopically, which also reduces the risks, and involves a shorter stay in the weight loss clinic.
Unlike most weight loss surgery procedures, the Gastric Band procedure is completely reversible, and the balloon is intended to stay in place for a maximum of six months, while the weight loss patient adjusts to more sensible eating habits.
The initial weight loss associated with the Gastric Balloon is nowhere near as fast as with other surgical procedures, but studies do tend to show that after a time, the loss of weight tends to even out between the different methods.
Many US citizens travel abroad to get gastric balloon treatment.
In addition to Bariatric surgery being much cheaper abroad because of the infrastructure costs, Gastric Balloon surgery is not yet commonly performed in the US. In Europe, the Far East, and South America it is quite easy to pay much less.
For example, in Europe, Gastric Band Surgery costs between 40% and 80% less if you get your surgery abroad in the Czech Republic, Belgium or Romania.
In South America, the best prices are often found in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Argentina. Thailand, India, South Africa and Turkey all have excellent Bariatric surgeons, who can also provide overseas Gastric Balloon surgery at a much lower price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who will Benefit From Gastric Balloon Surgery?
Gastric Balloon surgery is most often suggested by Bariatric surgeons when the BMI is above 40, or when other medical conditions brought on by excessive weight are a risk to your health.
If you have tried using a diet and exercise program for weight loss, without success, and you are moderately to seriously obese, then Gastric Balloon surgery may be a solution for you.
Gastric Balloon surgery should, however, only be undertaken after consultation with a medical specialist.
How Does the Gastric Balloon Procedure Work?
This surgery works by the placement of an inflatable balloon in the stomach.
The presence of the balloon creates the impression in the weight loss patient that they are full.
Weight loss is much less extreme than with other Bariatric surgeries.
The idea is that the balloon restricts the amount of food intake that is possible.
By this method, weight is lost quite quickly, while the fact that the patient feels full from less food trains the gastric balloon patient to eat smaller portions of food.
Gastric Balloon surgery is quite a quick process, and usually takes less than half an hour. Unless there is some kind of complication, you can expect to go home the same day.
After the operation, you will need to follow a dietary program, to maximise your weight loss.
What are the Risks?
As with all surgery, infection is one risk of the gastric balloon operation.
Because the Gastric Balloon procedure is a Laparoscopic one, meaning that it is a performed via key-hole surgery, risks and complications are far lower than other weight loss surgeries, particularly malabsorbtive weight loss surgeries such as the Gastric Bypass.
Also, the procedure does not require a general anaesthetic, which further reduces the risks.
There can be some side effects, such as nausea and stomach cramps, following the insertion of the gastric balloon.
These generally pass quite soon, and your surgeon will recommend a higher intake of liquids to minimise these side effects.
What else should I know?
The deflated gastric balloon is inserted laparoscopically, and once in place, it is inflated by filling it with a saline solution. Following the gastric balloon surgery, you will be put on a liquid diet for a week.
What Results Can I Expect?
The gastric balloon weight loss treatment works differently to other bariatric surgeries. Usually, patients can expect to lose 15 to 20 kilos. This is dependent on the patient wanting their weight loss surgery to work.
The right attitude is essential.
The balloon itself is intended to kick-start the weight loss process, and retrain the patient’s eating habits. It should not be thought of as a miracle cure!
What Does Gastric Balloon Surgery Cost?
All weight loss surgery is quite pricey, and Gastric Balloon surgery is no exception.
Savings can be made, however, by those willing to go abroad for their Gastric Balloon operation.
Popular with UK residents, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Romania are all countries that can offer some substantially lower prices.
Going to South America could save you up to 80% of the cost of Bariatric surgery, with Gastric Balloon surgery in Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina or Mexico costing much less money.
India, Malaysia, Thailand and Turkey are also known as countries with excellent surgeons, but much lower costs. The important thing is to do a little research, and use a reputable clinic, as the most important thing is your health!