If you’ve hit a roadblock in your weight loss journey, you may have considered asking for a gastric balloon. Read through the following guide where we discuss the pros and cons of gastric balloons.
What Is a Gastric Balloon and What Does It Do?
A gastric balloon, in simple terms, is a small, sterile silicone balloon placed in a person’s stomach. Because there’s already an object taking up space in your stomach, this limits the amount of food you eat in one sitting.
The gastric balloon procedure helps you to feel fuller when you eat smaller amounts of food. Over time, this natural caloric restriction can help you lose weight. Gastric balloons are time-tested, research-backed, and safe. However, they are a weight loss solution for specific conditions.
Conditions Gastric Balloons Improve
Gastric balloons are ideal for people struggling to lose weight despite changes in their diet and exercise routines. If you have a BMI between 30 and 40, have not previously undergone any type of weight loss surgery, and you’re healthy overall, you may be a good candidate for this procedure.
Types of Gastric Balloons
There are a few different types of gastric balloons, but overall, they perform the same function in your body: they take up space in your stomach to help you feel fuller and lose weight faster. Here are two common types that we offer at Formation Med.
A doctor will place this balloon endoscopically (through the mouth and esophagus). It’s a 30-minute procedure at most, and it’s completely reversible. Over the next six months, you can expect to lose 30-50 pounds if you follow a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Like with the Orbera, a doctor will place the balloon endoscopically within a 30-minute procedure. However, unlike other balloons, this model can stay in the stomach for up to eight months and is adjustable. Your doctor can deflate or inflate the balloon in increments, increasing the balloon up to twice its size (4m to 8m) as your stomach adjusts, for maximized support.
The only adjustable gastric balloon in the world, Formation is proud to be one of three offices in Florida that offers the Spatz3. The Spatz3 organization actually selected Formation as a trial location to bridge the proven technology here in the US, as it had already seen considerable success in other countries. Because of this, the team at Formation is able to pass considerable savings on to their clients during this initial “trial” phase.
Gastric Balloon vs. Gastric Sleeve
A gastric balloon is inserted through your mouth, while a gastric sleeve is a type of surgery that requires incisions, more downtime, and a slower recovery. A gastric sleeve is more appropriate for people who struggle with more severe weight gain, while a gastric balloon is often the better option for people who have lower BMIs.
At Formation, we offer both types of weight loss procedures and are happy to guide you if you are still deciding which is suitable for you.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Gastric Balloon?
If you are healthy overall, have a BMI between 30 and 40, and intend to use the gastric balloon procedure as the beginning of a new lifestyle, you may be a great candidate for this procedure. Remember, the balloon should not remain in your stomach indefinitely. The goal is to use the balloon to train your body and mind to eat less over time.
What Are the Pros of Getting a Gastric Balloon?
There are many advantages to getting a weight loss balloon. It’s a temporary, safe, non-surgical procedure that doesn’t require incisions. Consider these other pros if you’re on the fence about the procedure:
Tends to be less expensive than weight loss surgery
Can be appropriate for people with a lower BMI
Offers a simple and quick procedure (under an hour)
Has a quick recovery time
Allows you to eat normally while feeling less hungry throughout the day
Gastric balloons are an effective weight loss technique when paired with sufficient exercise and a healthy diet.
What Are the Cons of Getting a Gastric Balloon?
If you’re looking for a quick fix, a balloon isn’t your answer. The results come from adjusting to your new eating habits integrated with your gastric balloon. Without proper diet and exercise, it’s possible to regain weight after the balloon’s removal. However, the good news is that the changes you are making are a long-term commitment to your healthy lifestyle.
Some other considerations for a gastric balloon procedure include:
Potential acid reflux, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping, and back pain