Maintaining a healthy weight offers many benefits, but no single approach works best for everyone. When your weight affects your health and diet and exercise aren’t working, you may look into other options like weight loss surgery.
Though many people get amazing results following weight loss surgery, you may not qualify or feel apprehensive about permanently changing the size of your stomach.
At Transform Bariatrics in Greenbelt and Rockville, Maryland, our skilled bariatrician, Dr. Hitesh Amin, offers many options to help our patients reach their weight goals including medical, endoscopic, and surgical techniques. One such procedure is the gastric balloon — a nonsurgical weight loss option that works like weight loss surgery.
Here, we want to share some of the benefits of the gastric balloon procedure.
One of the most significant benefits of gastric balloon procedures is that there are no incisions and little downtime. We perform the procedure in a safe designated procedure area in about 20 minutes using a light sedative.
We use an endoscopic tool to place the gastric balloon in your stomach and then inflate it, decreasing the space available for food. Like other weight loss surgeries, the gastric balloon helps you lose weight by limiting your food and helping you feel full faster.
You can return to most of your usual activities after the gastric balloon placement. However, it takes time for your stomach to adjust to the device, and you must follow our post-procedure diet protocol. We may have you on a liquid diet for about two weeks and slowly advance you to a regular diet created by our bariatric dietitian as tolerated.
The gastric balloon device is temporary, and we remove it six months after placement. Removal of the balloon is similar to placement. We advance an endoscopic tool into your stomach, puncture the balloon, and suction out the fluid. The balloon is then retrieved with a snare device.
During the 6 months your balloon is in place, our medical weight loss team works with you, helping you create the lifestyle habits that lead to sustainable weight loss.
Though results vary, most people lose up to 10 to 15% of their body weight over the six months they have the gastric balloon. You may lose most weight during the first three to four months. The fast and dramatic weight loss is similar to the weight loss people have following weight loss surgery.
The gastric balloon procedure is a weight-loss treatment available to a wider net of people. Weight loss surgeries like gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are only recommended for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher or people with a BMI of 30 or higher with weight-related health problems. However, most insurance plans require your BMI to be 40 or above, or 35 with specific obesity-related health problems.
We may consider you a candidate for the nonsurgical procedure if you have a BMI of 30 or higher and you can’t reach your weight goals with diet and exercise.
We also recommend the gastric balloon procedure for people with a BMI higher than 40 who are ineligible for weight loss surgery because they have underlying health issues that make it too risky.
Finally, the gastric balloon procedure may be a more affordable option for those who may not be able to afford the out-of-pocket expenses related to bariatric surgery.
The gastric balloon is a safe, reversible procedure to help you lose weight quickly. Do you want to learn more? Call our office or request a consultation online today.