Types of Intra-Gastric Balloon Treatments to Boost Weight Loss

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

It might sound like a novel idea, but a gastric balloon is one of the trendiest ways to boost weight loss. The procedure aims to ease hunger pangs and minimizes the size of the stomach. This boosts the feeling of fullness despite eating very small meals. This procedure is called intragastric balloon and it does not require invasive surgery.

There are many ways to insert a balloon inside the stomach and this has become a newfangled way to shed off unwanted weight. And if you’re curious about which procedure is right for you, read on to find out more:

Intragastric Balloon

A soft, saline-filled balloon is inserted in the stomach through the mouth. The doctor will use an endoscope to insert the balloon. Slowly, the balloon is filled with a saline solution. The solution will cause the balloon to enlarge, partially filling the stomach. The balloon will leave less room for foods and drinks, cutting the appetite of the patient significantly. Six months after the procedure, the balloon is removed from the stomach.

To remove the balloon in the stomach, the doctor will insert an endoscopic camera from the throat to the stomach. Then, the balloon is punctured then deflated. After deflation, the balloon is taken out using forceps. According to health experts, this procedure can help obese individuals lose between 15 to 25 kilos.

ReShape Duo

This procedure is similar to the intragastric balloon but requires two balloons. Two saline-filled soft balloons are inserted in the stomach through the mouth. The balloons are filled with a blue-colored saline solution. The idea behind this procedure is to prevent dislodging or rupturing of one or two balloons. There were cases wherein a single balloon inserted into the stomach ruptures. The ruptured balloon traveled into the bowels, then trapped inside the large intestines. Eventually, a surgery is needed to extract the trapped gastric balloon. Adding a backup balloon minimizes the risk of migration.

Also, because the saline is dyed blue, blue-colored urine alerts doctors of a rupture. When this occurs, the doctors can quickly retrieve the entire device in the stomach. Preliminary tests found that this procedure allowed obese patients to lose twice as much excess weight as regular diet and exercise.

The balloons have to be removed six months after the insertion. The only downside to ReShape Duo is it increases the risk of gastric ulcers by about 35%.

Abalon or the Balloon Pill

Abalon is known as the “balloon pill.” A pill is attached to a catheter and inserted into the stomach. Once inserted, the doctor will inflate the pill into a balloon with nitrogen gas. As the balloon becomes larger, it leaves less room for food and drinks. The patient will feel full immediately after the procedure.

Over the course of the 90-day treatment, doctors can add one or two more balloons. After the program is completed, the balloon is removed using an endoscope.

During the first three days of the procedure, patients cannot eat solid foods. Also, they have to work out 90 minutes per day. Gradually, solid food is introduced to the patient, but they can only eat a small meal per day. If they overeat, they will vomit. Studies found that this procedure can help an individual lose 30 pounds in under 12 weeks.

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