St. George Obesity & General Surgery

Gastric Balloon

Sydney's Leading
Gastric Balloon Team

What is Gastric Balloon?

The gastric balloon is a non-operative endoscopic procedure to assist with weight loss.

The silicone-based balloon is placed via a gastroscope through your mouth and into the stomach. The presence of the balloon within the stomach helps with hunger and also portion control. The balloon typically remains in your stomach for about 6-12 months, after which it is removed through another endoscopic procedure.

Read more on the balloon here – https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/surgery/inserting-a-gastric-balloon

gastric balloon

Advantages of Balloon

Is Gastric Balloon for you?

The gastric balloon can be a useful tool when it comes to weight loss.

Typically, it is most effective in patients who are between BMI 27-35 and are looking for a strong kick-start to their weight loss journey. The average weight loss with balloon ranges between 10-20kg and has been shown to be a sustainable method of weight loss if you can make the relevant dietary and lifestyle adjustments after the balloon placement. 

The gastric balloon is an ideal intervention for patients who are contemplating weight loss intervention but yet to commit to surgery or prefer a non-surgical option.

It can also offer a good entry into bariatric surgery where it can give you a taste of the degree of restriction expected with weight loss surgeries like sleeve and bypass.

Read Gastric balloon evidence here – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S204908012100087X

The idea is not to live forever, but to create something that will. (1)

Is Gastric Balloon Safe?

The Gastric balloon is a very safe procedure which is considered less invasive when compared surgical weight loss options like Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass.

Unlike the above mentioned surgeries, the Gastric Balloon does not involve any surgical alterations to your stomach or gut. Even though weight loss with the balloon is rarely as high as surgery, it can still be effective.

Here are some of the less common side effects to the balloon:

    • Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and acid reflux, especially in the first few days after insertion
    • Balloon Deflation: If the balloon deflates, it can move through the digestive system and potentially cause a blockage, which might require surgical removal.
    • Ulcers and Gastric Erosion: The balloon can cause irritation to the stomach lining, leading to ulcers or gastric erosion.
    • Weight Regain: After the balloon is removed, there is a potential to regain weight if dietary and lifestyle changes are not maintained

Read more information here – https://allureweightloss.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Mayo-Elipse-Metanalysis.pdf

The whole process explained

Pre-procedure preparation
(Week prior)
VLCD diet + Vegetable

You will go on a one week VLCD diet with a vegetable side prior to balloon insertion. Don't worry, our dietician will guide you through the process

The Procedure
Same day procedure
Insertion of Gastric Ballon

You will be sedated for the procedure so that you wouldn't feel anything throughout the procedure. The balloon is inserted into the stomach under vision with the gastroscope and inflated with a blue dye. The volume of blue dye helps to expand the balloon and usually ranges between 500-600mls. Following the procedure, you will be given intravenous fluids and also anti-nausea medications to help with the initial symptoms of the balloon

Balloon Recovery
Initial one week
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The first 48-72hrs can be tough where you may feel symptoms of cramping, some nausea and fullness. Don't worry, this is normal. There will be 3 medications to help you with symptoms which comprises of an anti-nausea, anti-reflux and anti-cramping tablet. Following this period, symptoms generally ease off. The balloon is then there to do its job of portion control and appetite suppression.

Weight Loss and Follow up
The Next Six Months/Beyond
Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery featured image

This is the most exciting part. Weight loss tends to be quicker in the first 4 months after balloon insertion. As part of the program, you will need to attend fixed follow ups (at the 2 week, 3 months and 6 months mark) regularly with our team to ensure that you remain on track and are not experiencing some of the rare side effects that can be associated with the balloon.

These can include reflux,  balloon migration, balloon leakage.

 Don't forget, this is the golden period where you should start establishing some sustainable habits in your diet and lifestyle which will help you maintain the weight loss achieved with the balloon. 

Six Months After Insertion
Balloon Extraction

Its time for the balloon to come out!

Typically, patients have reached the maximum amount of weight loss they can achieve with the balloon by this stage.

The removal of balloon is again via an endoscopy day procedure. 

You should not experience any symptoms after this procedure.

Beyond Your Balloon Therapy
Our Committment to You

We are committed to long term weight loss support as we believe that weight issues can be a long term battle. Here at SGOS, we are unique in this way where once you have gone through weight loss therapy with us, we will continue to advocate for you to follow up with us long term. This means that you will always have access to our multi-disciplinary team whenever you need us (All future yearly consultations are BULKED BILLED)

Why Choose Us for Your Balloon Therapy

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