The Main Differences Between the Gastric Balloon and Sleeve

Dec 14, 2022
The Main Differences Between the Gastric Balloon and Sleeve
The main difference between the gastric balloon and sleeve is that one is temporary, and the other is permanent. Click here to learn more about these weight loss procedures, how they work, and what makes them different.

The main difference between a gastric balloon and gastric sleeve is that one is reversible, and the other is permanent. Weight loss surgery has seen many advancements over the decades, with new procedures and techniques reducing recovery time and improving outcomes. 

There are even nonsurgical weight loss procedures, like the gastric balloon and endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG).

At Transform Bariatrics in Greenbelt and Rockland, Maryland, our skilled bariatrician, Dr. Hitesh Amin, works with a team of weight management experts to help our patients reach their weight loss goals. 

We offer both gastric balloon and gastric sleeve procedures and want to explain the main differences between the two.

About the gastric balloon

The gastric balloon is a nonsurgical weight loss procedure. It involves placing a deflated balloon in your stomach through your mouth using an endoscope (thin, flexible tube). Once in the stomach, we fill the balloon with saline water, decreasing space.

The gastric balloon helps you lose weight by making you feel full faster, so you eat less. It also slows food movement through the stomach, which keeps you feeling full longer. 

The gastric balloon procedure takes about 20 minutes and requires only light sedation during placement. We remove the balloon at the office about six months after the procedure.

About the gastric sleeve

The gastric sleeve is a surgical weight loss procedure that removes a large portion of your stomach, creating a tube-like stomach that’s about the same size and shape as a medium banana. 

The gastric sleeve significantly reduces the size of your stomach, so you feel full faster and eat less. You may also feel less hungry since the procedure removes the portion of the stomach that produces most hunger hormones. 

We perform the gastric sleeve procedure through tiny incisions using robotic surgery. You’re given general anesthesia, so you’re asleep during surgery. Most of our patients go home on the same day of their gastric sleeve procedure.

Gastric balloon vs. gastric sleeve

The main difference between the gastric balloon and gastric sleeve is that the balloon is temporary, and the gastric sleeve is permanent. 

Many people feel apprehensive about weight loss surgery because it permanently changes the size of their stomach. With options like the gastric balloon, you get the help you need to lose weight without surgically altering your stomach.

Another difference between the two procedures is that we can perform the gastric balloon procedure for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher and those who aren’t candidates for other weight loss surgeries because of underlying health issues. 

With the gastric sleeve, we only perform the procedure if you have a BMI of 40 or higher or a BMI of 35 or higher and weight-related health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure. Weight loss surgery isn’t recommended if you have severe heart or lung disease or a gastrointestinal condition like stomach ulcers.

Weight loss results may also differ. Our patients lose anywhere from 25 to 50 pounds with the gastric balloon. For a gastric sleeve, you may lose up to 25 to 30% of your body weight during the first year. If you weigh 250 pounds before your gastric sleeve surgery, you may lose 60 to 75 pounds.

If you’re having difficulty reaching your weight goals following a traditional diet and exercise program, we may have a solution for you. Give us a call or request an appointment online to schedule a consultation with our bariatrician to discuss your surgical and nonsurgical options.