During this procedure, the patient is sedated and a balloon is inserted endoscopically into the stomach of the patient without the need for general anesthesia. It isn't a surgical procedure. After placement, the balloon is inflated with liquid. The estimated duration of the procedure is 15-20 minutes and the patient is kept under observation for several hours.
The aim of the balloon is to lose weight by giving a feeling of fullness by creating a mass effect.
In some cases, the patient may be able to lose 15-20% of the initial weight with this method, whereas in others a significant weight loss may not be achieved.
The balloon should be removed after 6-12 months. If the patient does not follow a diet and exercise program after the balloon is removed, a rapid regain of weight can occur. As a result, a gastric balloon is in most of the cases unsuccesfull on the long term.
The right indication for a gastric balloon is to perform it as the first step to loose weight in a super super obese patient as preparation for the surgical procedure that will be followed. The gastric balloon method should not be considered a stand-alone method.