Who is the gastric balloon applied to is an issue on the agenda of those who complain about being overweight. Although gastric balloon application has been one of the preferred methods for a long time, it is among the procedures that should be performed by an extremely meticulous and experienced surgeon.
This process should not be confused with other obesity surgery, i.e. surgical techniques. Because the endoscopy method is preferred in gastric balloon application. With the help of an endoscopy device, the stomach is reached through the mouth and a deflated balloon is placed in the stomach. Afterwards, the balloon is inflated and a fullness is achieved in the patient’s stomach.
An incision is not applied to the patient for placing or inflating the balloon, and therefore, there is no need for stitches afterwards. For this reason, we can state that the procedure in question is an ideal option for those who complain about obesity but are afraid of surgery. We will mention who are the suitable candidates for gastric balloon procedure or who cannot benefit from this procedure. But first, let’s review the advantages of the gastric balloon together.
What are the Advantages of Gastric Balloon?
The gastric balloon procedure, which has enabled many patients to reach the ideal weight, has many advantages. Of course, these advantages are of great importance as well as to whom the gastric balloon is applied. First of all, we can state that the most important advantage of the procedure is that it protects the stomach’s anatomy. In this application, part of the stomach is not removed. Only the balloon is placed in the stomach, the balloon is inflated, and after about 6 months or 12 months, this balloon is removed from the stomach with the same method. Therefore, no intervention is made to the natural anatomical structure of the stomach. Apart from this, we can explain the other advantages of the gastric balloon in a short list:
- You do not have to undergo surgery for the gastric balloon procedure. It is a method that can be completed in just 15 to 20 minutes with endoscopy.
- Since no surgical intervention is performed, there is no need for a healing process.
- It provides a very safe weight loss.
- If an unexpected situation develops despite all precautions and controls, the balloon can be removed from the stomach quickly and easily.
- In this process, no intervention is made to the functioning of not only the stomach but also the functioning of other systems or organs of the body.
- After the application, patients can easily adapt to post-procedure living standards.
- The purpose of this procedure is that the balloon occupies a certain place in the stomach. Therefore, if the feeling of eating is reduced and this situation is maintained by the patient, a healthy diet can be followed in the long term.
- If the recommendations and warnings of the doctor and dietician are followed after the gastric balloon, it is possible to lose weight quickly. The patient does not have to wait for years to reach his ideal weight.
- As it reduces the feeling of hunger, it allows portion control.
- It is a much more economical option compared to many obesity surgery methods.
- If the patient does not reach his ideal weight in the first attempt, it can be tried again in the future. Gastric balloon is a repeatable procedure if the patient’s condition is suitable.
- It is possible to lose around 30 kg in just 6 months to 12 months.
- If the patient takes the warnings and suggestions seriously and changes the lifestyle and diet, the patient may continue to lose weight after the gastric balloon is removed from the stomach.
Candidates for Gastric Balloon
People who fail to lose weight despite the application of diet and exercise methods are suitable candidates for gastric balloon. However, we can give the following examples to other patients who may be the answer to the question of who is the gastric balloon applied:
- In addition to obesity, those who have other health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure
- Patients who are overweight to undergo obesity surgery but cannot fall to the appropriate weight for surgery
- Patients with a body mass index between 35 and 40
- Patients who are afraid of surgery
Of course, we can increase these examples. Sometimes, it is possible for the patient to have excess weight even to benefit from bariatric surgery. In such cases, firstly, gastric balloon application is used in order to reduce the risks of surgery. After the patient reaches a certain weight, surgery can be planned.
Who Should Not Have a Gastric Balloon?
Sometimes, the question of who applies a gastric balloon to the subject of age may be asked. In fact, there is no age limit for this procedure. However, based on our experience, we can state that we do not recommend it to be applied to children under 10 years old. It can only be preferred in cases where the patient’s condition is very critical due to various reasons, that is, in necessary situations. If the patient is over 10 years old, there is no harm in using the gastric balloon. In addition, let us state that gastric balloon application may be inconvenient in the cases listed below.
- Having any inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract
- Having a hiatal hernia in the patient
- People with liver failure
- Patients with bleeding disorders or severe clotting problems
- People who have had previous bariatric or gastrointestinal surgery
- Patients with esophageal motility disorder
- People with psychiatric illness
Since these people benefit from the gastric balloon application may cause some drawbacks, it would be more appropriate to try to lose weight with different techniques.
What are the Types of Gastric Balloons?
Patients may wonder about the types of gastric balloons as well as to whom the gastric balloon is applied. Gastric balloons are medical products that can be classified from many different angles. For example, these products are evaluated in two different categories depending on what they are inflated with.
After the balloon is placed in the stomach, a colored liquid is sent into it. This liquid is saline which is colored with methylene blue. These balloons usually have a volume of 400 – 500 ml. If the balloon leaks or if the gastric balloon bursts, the color of the urine changes and turns blue or green. Thus, patients can easily understand whether there is a leak in the balloon.
Air is injected into these balloons with the help of a catheter. They may have a higher volume than liquid gastric balloons, but it should be noted that they do not create weight. It is not possible for the patient to understand whether there is an air leak in the balloon.
Stomach balloons are divided into 2 according to whether they are adjustable or not.
Adjustable Volume Balloons
These balloons are liquid. Depending on the weight loss situation of the person, the elastic material in the tip can be taken out and fluid discharge or liquid can be added.
Non-Adjustable Volume Balloons
No intervention can be made until these balloons with fixed volume are placed in the stomach and removed. Fixed volume balloons are also divided into two as liquid and air.
Is Gastric Balloon Permanent?
Gastric balloons are not permanent. Patients may think that these balloons will remain in the stomach for a lifetime regarding who is applied to the gastric balloon. However, the gastric balloons used today are 6 months or 12 months old, and at the end of this period, the balloons placed in the stomach must be removed. You can write all your questions on the subject in the comments section.