The intragastric balloon is a soft silicone balloon, placed endoscopically in the stomach, filled with saline and removed after six months.
The intragastric balloon is a simple surgical method that does not require prolonged drug therapy. It is designed for overweight patients which do not wish to undergo surgery or for those which do not qualify for such, providing the extra help needed to patients in order to adapt to a healthier lifestyle.
The intragastric balloon is a soft silicone balloon placed endoscopically in the stomach, filled with saline and removed after six months. It is a simple technique, so that both, placement and removal are done with a small sedation as anesthesia and on an outpatient basis.
It is designed to partially fill the stomach and produce lasting satiety.
By experiencing the feeling of fullness more quickly after a small meal, the patients have less difficulty in changing their eating habits and are more willing to adopt to a new and healthier lifestyle during the six months that the ball is placed.
This treatment is recommended for patients that are overweight or moderately obese (not morbidly obese), with a body mass index of 27 or above, as well as for patients who have failed to lose weight or to maintain the weight loss achieved with dietary treatment alone. Studies show that patients which have undergone the procedure of the intragastric balloon have more chances of maintaining the weight loss for longer, than patients which only follow a diet.
Depending on each patient, the weight to be lost during six months is an average of about 20 kg.
Minor complications are reflux esophagitisn and symptomatic transitional gastric stases.
Contraindications include: patients that have previously undergone some gastrointestinal surgery. Patients who have had psychiatric disorders, are uncooperative, alcoholics or drug addicts.
Patients with conditions such as large hiatal hernia and inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.