Intra-Gastric Balloon Procedure
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This is a temporary non-surgical Intra-Gastric Balloon System for the treatment of obesity. The device used offers a tailored solution to patients suffering from obesity and whose condition does not justify a surgical procedure. The new technical developments of this new implant have the aim of improving the quality of life for patients while reducing the risks associated with the procedure.
How does it work?
Its principle is simple: occupying volume in the stomach in order to provoke the feeling of satiety quickly. In this way, due to the presence of the balloon, the person eats less and loses weight without frustration within the framework of multi-disciplinary medical care.
The balloon is introduced into the stomach through the mouth without the need for surgery. The physician inserts an endoscopic camera (gastroscope) into the stomach. If no abnormalities are observed, the physician proceeds with the placement of the balloon through the mouth and down the oesophagus into the stomach. Once the balloon is inside the stomach, it is filled with air through a small filling tube attached to the balloon. Once filled, the doctor removes the tube by gently pulling on the external end, leaving the balloon inside the stomach.
Placement of the balloon takes approximately 20 minutes, after which you will be monitored by specialist nursing staff in the recovery bay. As this is a “day-only” procedure, you are generally able to be escorted home within two hours after balloon insertion.
Is the Heliosphere Intragastric Ballon right for me?
The Intra Gastric Balloon is designed to assist with weight loss in people who are at least 40% above their ideal weight and who have failed to obtain prolonged weight loss with other weight control programs.
The Heliosphere ® System may be particularly useful for people considered too overweight or at increased risk for bariatric surgery. The use of the Intra Gastric Balloon of Heliosphere ® to successfully reduce weight prior to surgery may help reduce the risks associated with surgical procedures on overweight patients.
How Long Is the Intra-Gastric Balloon Used For?
The balloon currently can be used for six months. Longer periods of use are not recommended. Over time the acidic content of the stomach will weaken the balloon material and cause the balloon to deflate. Should your physician recommend use of the balloon for longer than six months, it is necessary that the balloon be replaced with a new one when the six-month interval has been met.
While you are using the balloon, your physician may prescribe a course of oral medication to reduce your stomach acid (this may reduce the possibility of stomach irritation and damage to the balloon).
What Happens if the Heliosphere Intra-Gastric Balloon Deflates Spontaneously?
Your physician will place a colored liquid inside the balloon called Methelyene Blue. This will help you clearly identify early deflation or leakage as it will change the color of your urine.
The balloon is small enough that it may pass through the intestines and leave the body naturally, but there have been some cases in which it has had to be removed from the bowel surgically. If you suspect a deflation, you must notify your physician immediately.
How Will the Heliosphere Intra-Gastric Balloon Be Removed?
The balloon is removed in the same way it was placed, via the esophagus and mouth. Using an endoscopic camera, the physician will introduce a catheter through the mouth and into the stomach. The balloon will then be punctured and deflated. Once the balloon is deflated it can be grasped and removed.
How Much Weight Will I Lose with the Intra-Gastric Balloon?
It is important for you to understand that the Intra-Gastric Balloon is an aid to weight loss and must be used in conjunction with a diet, exercise and a behavior modification program. Therefore, the amount of weight you lose will depend on how closely you follow your diet. How long you maintain weight loss will depend on how completely you adopt long-term lifestyle changes involving eating behavior and exercise.
What Unpleasant Effects Are Possible with the Intra-Gastric Balloon?
It is very likely that the presence of the balloon in the stomach will cause nausea or vomiting for a few days after placement. Your physician will prescribe medication to help minimize these potential effects.
There exists the possibility that you will lose only a small amount of weight or lose no weight at all while using the balloon. Of course, as stated earlier, your commitment to dietary and behavioral changes is a pivotal factor in the outcome.
There is also the chance that unhealthy, uncontrolled weight loss will occur and create adverse health consequences. Be sure to speak with your physician about this.
Who performs the procedure?
The Heliosphere Intra-Gastric Balloon is placed by a physician trained in gastroscopy on an outpatient basis with general anesthesia.
How long does the procedure take?
The Heliosphere Intra-Gastric Balloon placement takes approximately 10-20 minutes to perform.
Is the procedure reversible?
Unlike other bariatric procedures which change the patients’ anatomy, the Heliosphere Intra-Gastric Balloon is designed to be placed for approximately 6 months and then removed through endoscopy at which time it is hoped that the patient will have lost weight through the development of proper eating habits.
What are the possible side effects of the procedure?
Most of the side effects noted in the literature, were noted with the first generation Intra-Gastric Balloons (introduced in the 1990’s) which were liquid filled up to 650 cc. As a result of their weight, they were found in a small percentage of patients to cause acid reflux, short term nausea and vomiting (especially in the first 15 days). Complications can include gastric erosions or ulceration and migration. With the new generation Heliosphere, these side effects and complications have been shown to be greatly reduced.
How much weight can I lose?
Studies with the Heliosphere Intra-Gastric Balloon have demonstrated an average weight loss of 40lbs within 6 months in patients with a BMI above 30. In patients with BMI above 40, weight loss can reach an average of 60 to 100lbs.