Gastric Balloon: An Alternative to Weight Loss Surgery

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Posted: November 7th, 2019
gastric balloon

A gastric balloon is a safe, non-surgical weight loss option for patients who need to lose between 20 and 50 pounds.

It’s well known that losing weight can lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes. It can also help you feel more confident and have more energy to embrace new experiences.

If you’re looking to lose weight, you’ve likely tried to reach your goal through diet and exercise. While lifestyle changes can provide important physical and psychological benefits, many people find that these adjustments aren’t enough to help them reach a healthy weight.

Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors offer several procedures to improve your confidence and lower your risk of weight-related health problems. There are surgical options like gastric bypass and gastric sleeve, but for those who don’t qualify for or don’t want surgery, we offer two types of gastric balloons.

A gastric balloon is a relatively new type of weight loss procedure that is both safe and effective. The balloon works by making you feel full faster and longer. It may also change the hormones that control your appetite, which helps you achieve long-term results.

Together with lifestyle changes, a gastric balloon can lead to substantial health benefits. If you’re considering taking this important step toward a healthier, happier life, here’s what you need to know about the quick and simple gastric balloon procedure.

Two Types of Gastric Balloons

Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors offer two kinds of gastric balloon procedures, both of which are performed on an outpatient basis. The Orbera balloon is the most popular weight loss balloon, and can be inserted in about 30 minutes. It is placed in the stomach via a thin tube that goes down your throat while you are sedated. Your doctor will then use an endoscope — a small, flexible tube with a camera attached — to fill the balloon with saline.

The Orbera balloon is a convenient, surgery-free option for people who need to lose between 20 and 50 pounds. It remains in the stomach for six months, helping you feel full and adapt to healthier portion sizes. The balloon enables patients to lose up to three times more weight than they would with diet and exercise alone.

Another option, the Obalon balloon, is a swallowable balloon that only takes about 10 minutes to insert. For this procedure, you can simply swallow a small capsule containing the gastric balloon. Your doctor then inflates the balloon with gas using a small tube. After the balloon is inserted, you can return to your normal activities without any downtime.

The Obalon balloon sits on top of the contents of the stomach, reducing your appetite so you can better manage portion sizes. Over time, two more gas balloons are added to the stomach to produce incremental weight loss. After six months, the three balloons are removed during a brief endoscopic procedure.

Should I Get a Gastric Balloon?

Gastric balloons typically help people lose about 10-15 percent of their body weight in six months. One study found that a gastric balloon combined with behavioral therapy helped participants lose 29 percent of their excess weight, compared to the 14 percent lost by patients who received behavioral therapy alone.

A gastric balloon is not right for everyone, but it is often ideal for people with a body mass index between 30 and 40. Compared to surgical procedures like gastric bypass or gastric sleeve, a gastric balloon is a less permanent and less invasive option. However, it may not produce the same degree of weight loss as various surgical procedures — nor is it intended to.

If you’re considering weight loss treatment, the Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors can help you decide which choice is right for you. We’ll walk you through the details of this life-changing decision, ensuring you feel comfortable and well-informed each step of the way. Whether you decide on a gastric balloon or one of our other weight loss options, our experienced surgeons and care staff will be there to guide and support you.

Give us a call at 631-206-6924 or fill out an online form to schedule your in-office appointment.