Gastric Balloon

This page will provide you with information about gastric balloon procedures. For further information you should speak to your consultant.

What is a Gastric Balloon?

A gastric balloon procedure works by reducing the feeling of hunger in the patient. It also makes you feel fuller for a long period of time, even after eating only a small meal. It is one way of helping individuals lose weight without the need for invasive surgery.

What does the procedure entail?

A soft balloon will be inserted into the stomach via the mouth, with the patient put under sedation. It takes around 20-30 minutes and uses an endoscope (a long, thin and flexible telescope) to insert the balloon. The balloon is then filled with a saline solution to fill a portion of the stomach – this is what causes there to be less room for the consumption of food or drink.

It can take a short amount of time for the stomach to get used to the balloon, but most patients can return home the same day or the day after having it fitted. It is meant to be a temporary weight-loss solution and is often removed after six months – sometimes it is inserted to help patients lose weight before a more permanent weight-loss procedure, like gastric bypass o gastric banding.

In some cases, the balloon needs to be removed before the six month period is up; if a patient feels particularly nauseous or experiences vomiting in the first few days after the procedure and does not improve, this could mean the balloon needs to be removed. Hospital staff and dieticians will ensure you are fully ready to go home before you are discharged from hospital.