The fact that there are millions of people out there who want to lose weight is no secret. The fact that there are millions of people out there who absolutely must lose weight is also no secret. It is because of this fact that various types of bariatric surgery are so popular. However, the two most popular surgery options, the gastric sleeve and the gastric band, are only suitable for people with a BMI of 35 or over (or 30 if they also have obesity-related illnesses). This means that those who are obese, but not obese enough, have to either lose the weight themselves, or actually get fatter in order to be a suitable candidate. This leaves a huge portion of people in an impossible situation. For them, the gastric balloon may actually be a very good option. And, luckily, you are now able to find balloon surgery near you.
What Is the Gastric Balloon?
While called a ‘gastric balloon’, it is actually the ‘intragastric balloon’. It is a non-invasive procedure, meaning you don’t have to go through surgery. It is designed for those people whose BMI is not high enough for other types of gastric surgery. A silicone balloon filled with a saline solution is inserted into the stomach, through the oesophagus. Once it is correctly placed, it is filled with the saline solution. The entire procedure takes around half an hour to complete and recovery time is minimal.
When Can You Have a Gastric Balloon?
The gastric balloon is suitable for people who have a BMI ranging from 27 to 35, and for those who have to lose between 10kg and 15kg. The balloon is usually only given to those who must lose this weight for health reasons, and not for cosmetic reasons. Weight loss is generally quite rapid.
Sometimes, people don’t want to have full gastric surgery for personal reasons, and some are unable to have the procedure completed for medical reasons. In these cases, for instance when someone’s BMI is above 35, a gastric balloon may also be offered.
In all cases, the balloon can only be fitted if people also have the motivation to actually lose weight. They have to follow a strictly regimented diet, and this takes a significant amount of willpower.
Gastric Balloon vs Gastric Band
There are a number of clear benefits to having a gastric balloon over a gastric band. The financial expense is certainly one of those benefits, as the balloon is far more affordable. Additionally, it is not a permanent solution. A balloon is in place for just six months, after which it is taken back out and the digestive system returns to normal. This is why weight loss of only between 10kg and 15kg can be expected with this procedure. After the balloon is removed, patients will have to continue a regimented diet for a further six months. This means that, overall, weight loss is achieved far more naturally than with other types of surgery.