Is the ORBERA Gastric Balloon safe?

July 19, 2023 | Obesity

Dr. Hesham Atwa, Founder of Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors and board-certified bariatric surgeon shares information regarding the safety of the ORBERA non-surgical weight loss procedure.

Sometimes patients wonder if the ORBERA Gastric Balloon procedure is safe. This procedure is considered safe when performed by a qualified and trained healthcare professional. However, like any medical procedure, the gastric balloon does carry some risks and potential side effects.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be considered for the ORBERA Gastric Balloon procedure, you must meet the following criteria:

  • In general, a body mass index (BMI) of 30-40, but the balloon may be used for patients with higher or lower BMIs as well
  • You want to lose weight but without weight loss surgery

Advantages of the ORBERA Gastric Balloon

There are many advantages to this procedure. Some advantages include:

  • It is not surgery and requires no incision
  • It is not permanent
  • The risk of complication is very low
  • Weight loss with the gastric balloon can improve other obesity related health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and joint pain

Potential Risks of the ORBERA Gastric Balloon

As with any medical procedure, there are also some potential risks. The potential risks include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting: Some patients experience temporary feelings of nausea and vomiting, especially during the first few days after balloon placement. This can usually be managed with medication and tends to subside as your body adjusts to the presence of the balloon.
  • Abdominal Pain or Discomfort: Some patients may experience abdominal pain, cramping or discomfort due to the presence of the balloon. This is typically temporary and improves as your body adapts to the balloon.
  • Indigestion: Some patients report indigestion, particularly during the initial adjustment period. This can be managed by following the dietary guidelines our experienced team provide to you before, during and after your procedure.
  • Acid Reflux: In rare cases, the gastric balloon can cause acid reflux, gastric irritation, or ulcers. It is important to report any persistent or severe symptoms for close monitoring and treatment.
  • Balloon Deflation or Rupture: Although rare, there is a small risk of balloon deflation or rupture. If this occurs, the balloon may need to be removed or replaced to avoid complications such as blockage or infection

To minimize the risks associated with the gastric balloon, it is important that you follow your pre- and post-procedure instructions. At Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors, as a part of your ORBERA Gastric Balloon procedure, you are provided with expert guidance and education. Our comprehensive program guides you every step of the way so you can optimize your weight loss outcome while creating healthier eating and fitness habits for long-term success.

As of late, there are some insurance companies who are starting to cover the ORBERA Gastric Balloon placement and removal. However, if your insurance policy does not cover this treatment, we also have very affordable cash pay options that include our comprehensive program for optimal success.

If you are interested in learning more, please visit or reach out to one of our caring Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors team members at