THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON
This is an expandable spherical device made of silicon which allows foradjustment of the fill volume, createdas an alternative for the treatment of overweight or obesity.
It is inserted in the stomach endoscopically, then filled with a saline solution and a blue dye (methylene blue), thus partially occupying the gastric cavity and increasing the sensation of satiety. As a result, there will be a decrease in food intake with subsequent weight loss.
At the same time, the patient will receive follow-up and counseling from our staff, which will help to change their eating habits, which in the long run will change their style and quality of life.
Both the placement and the withdrawal of the intragastric balloon are performed on an outpatient basis, so that the patient resumes everyday life almost immediately.
The patient will know if the intragastric balloon suffers damage because the methylene blue it was filled with will be eliminated in the urine. In this case, the person must schedule a revaluation consultation with their doctor, safe in the knowledge that such an event is not a medical emergency and it is not threatening to life or bodily function when dealt with in a timely fashion.
INDICATIONS FOR THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON
Patients with overweight or a BMI greater than 25
Patients with morbid obesity who of their own will do not want to have a surgical procedure.
Morbidly obese patients for whom surgery is contraindicated because of high risk.
As an initial weight reduction prior to any surgery.
ADVANTAGES OF THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON
Non-surgical procedure as an outpatient.
One may resume daily activities immediately
Very low risk of complications
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON
WHAT IS THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON?
The intragastric balloon is a prosthesis that is placed inside the stomach for the medical treatment of overweight and obesity. This prosthesis is filled with physiological solution at 0.9% (approx. 600 ml of solution).
HOW DOES THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON WORK?
The role of the intragastric balloon is to occupy a space inside the stomach, reducing its capacity to receive food. It is a temporary method because it must be removed within six months of its placement. Such placement brings about weight loss and control of diseases associated with obesity in a significant percentage of patients.
WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON?
Patients who are candidates for this procedure are those who are overweight or obese, with or without associated diseases.
ARE ANY ADDITIONAL STUDIES REQUIRED FOR THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON?
In addition to being overweight or obese, the candidate should submit to a study protocol prior to placement of the device which consists of assessments by the bariatric surgeon, as well as by specialists in endocrinology, psychiatry, internal medicine and nutrition. Once the protocol is completed, the intragastric balloon can be put in place.
CAN I ENGAGE IN ANY KIND OF ACTIVITY WITH THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON?
Yes, you can participate in all kinds of activities, including extreme sports such as skin diving or skydiving, although this is not recommended. Contact sports are not recommended.
CAN I HAVE A NORMAL DIET WITH THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON?
You must follow a balanced diet in order to attain the weight loss you desire. Drinking enough water during the day is important, as well as avoiding foods that are high in calories (high in sugars and fats) and following the bariatric surgeon's and our nutritionists' instructions.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT WILL I LOSE WITH THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON?
You can have a significant weight loss, with an average of between 10 and 25 kilos; however, your results will depend on how well you follow the program and on the adjustment you make to your eating habits.
CAN I LEAVE THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON IN FOR LONGER THAN THE STIPULATED TIME?
It is not recommended that you leave the balloon in for a longer period of time as it could lose its shape and migrate to the intestine where it would cause severe intestinal occlusion. In the event that more time is needed to reach your weight loss goal, the case must be given an extraordinary evaluation.
HOW LONG IS THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON USED?
Six months is the maximum period the gastric balloon can be in place; it should be removed upon completion of this time.
HOW IS THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON PUT IN PLACE?
Through an outpatient procedure carried out under sedation by means of an endoscope, through which the intragastric balloon is inserted in the stomach. Afterwards, the patient is released and sent home.
WHAT DOES FOLLOW-UP AFTER PLACEMENT OF THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON CONSIST OF?
All the specialists do checkups on a regular basis to monitor weight loss, medication and vitamin supplements. Monitoring is carried out for six months after the balloon has been indicated.At the same time, adjustments in eating habits are made so that there is no weight gain after the device is removed.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON?
It is a temporary procedure and hospitalization is not required for its placement. The method is non-surgicaland does not involve cutting the stomach or small intestine. It is associated with weight loss and disease control in a significant percentage of patients, although less than with the bypass, gastric sleeve or gastric band.