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This type of bariatric procedure is used to treat morbid obesity by aiding dramatic weight loss. It is also known to help lessen the problems associated with asthma, high blood pressure (hypertension), type 2 diabetes and general heart problems. An alternative to surgery, also known as the stomach balloon. With a gastric balloon, an inflatable device is temporarily inserted into the stomach and is considered non-surgical as it’s inserted by endoscopic placement. The purpose of the balloon is to obstruct a sizable area of the stomach, thus reducing the amount of food it can contain at any one time. The sensation of feeling ‘full’ when eating occurs much quicker due to the reduced capacity of the stomach. After the desired weight loss has occurred, usually around 6 months, the device is removed using endoscopy again.
Also referred to as obesity surgery, metabolic surgery or weight loss surgery, Bariatric procedures are designed to restrict the amount of food the body can absorb.
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A light anesthetic is used for this process. 1 or 2 gastric balloons are introduced into your stomach through the mouth using an endoscope. No incisions are needed. An Endoscope is inserted into your mouth then it passes through your esophagus to reach the stomach. Endoscope gives clear pictures of the inside of your stomach and the doctor proceeds whilst using those images. Once the balloon reaches your stomach, it is filled with a saline solution. This balloon floats freely in the stomach and It is large enough to not pass through your pylorus and hence small intestine. This silicone balloon is also filled with a radiographic dye or marker to warn you if the balloon leaks. Your stomach capacity is almost 900ml and then is reduced by 700 ml after this procedure.
A Gastric balloon is an outpatient procedure and it takes only 20 to 30 minutes to complete. After which you do not need to stay in the hospital. The mild anesthesia wears off after some time then you are discharged. Still, you will have to stay in the Philippines for at least 10 days for regular check-ups. During this period, you are kept under review and the medical team will ensure that the balloon is causing no issues and if everything goes fine, then you are allowed to leave for home.
You will suffer from pain, nausea, and vomiting for a few days after the procedure. A Gastric balloon itself is not painful and it is just uncomfortable. Medicines are prescribed to treat nausea and uncomfortable feeling. You can continue with your normal diet after 3 weeks and the volume intake of food is greatly reduced.
The following are some points which should be considered to look after yourself at home after being discharged from the hospital:
In total, 20% to 30% loss in excess weight has been reported through a balloon procedure. However, results of gastric ballooning can differ and some people show more weight loss than others. It depends upon their environment and other activities. 10% to 15% weight is lost in the 1st six months. Patients who went for a gastric balloon combined with other therapies showed more positive results as compared to those who just went for the therapies alone.
Before the treatment, you are overweight and within the 'obese' category based on BMI, which means you're at risk of associated diseases, such as heart disease, one of the worlds biggest killers. You will appear large and possibly older than your age. However, after going through the procedure and rapidly losing weight immediately after, a considerable change will be observed in your physical appearance and your ability to do strenuous activities and sports is increased considerably.
Alternatives Bariatric Procedures:
1. Gastric Band - An inflatable silicone device is fitted around the top portion of the stomach to create a smaller stomach pouch, intended to decrease the amount of food consumed in one go.
2. Gastric Bypass - The stomach is divided into two parts; a small upper pouch and a large lower ‘remnant’ pouch. The small intestine is rearranged accordingly, bypassing the large pouch and thus significantly reducing the volume of the stomach.
3. Gastric Balloon - An inflatable device is temporarily inserted into the stomach via endoscopic placement. The balloon obstructs a sizable area of the stomach, thus reducing the amount of food it can contain at any one time.
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