A lot of people want to lose weight to look better. Some, however, need to lose weight if they wish to remain healthy. Depending on their personal situation, they may or may not be suitable for a gastric sleeve or a gastric band. However, if their BMI is under 35, they are not a suitable candidate. Now, however, they can opt for the gastric balloon instead.
What Is a Gastric Balloon?
Gastric balloons are inserted through laparoscopic procedures, which means they are almost fully non-invasive. They are designed for those who have a BMI that is not high enough for full bariatric surgery, but that is high enough to be classed as being a risk. It can also be used by those people who have such significant comorbidity disorders that they are not physically well enough to sustain the anesthesia required for a full surgery, meaning they must lose weight first.
The procedure of the gastric balloon is very simple. A laparoscopic tube is used to insert a balloon into the stomach, after which it is inflated, generally using a saline solution and some blue dye (so that the patient’s urine would turn blue in the rare occasion where the balloon bursts). Once the balloon is inflated, it takes up a large proportion of the stomach, meaning that people cannot eat as much anymore. Thus, they reduce their calorific intake, and they start to lose weight. The entire procedure takes only around half an hour to complete.
Who Is the Gastric Balloon For?
The gastric balloon can be fitted on those patients who have a BMI between 27 and 35, and on those who must lose between 10kg and 15kg for health reasons, in a quick time. The balloon may also be offered to those with a BMI over 35, who do not want to have surgery and who are committed to making the necessary permanent lifestyle changes. Lastly, it is suitable for those who are too obese to withstand the surgery, as previously mentioned.
As with all gastric procedures, however, the balloon can only be beneficial if the patient is committed to making changes to the way they live their life. They must follow a very strict regime, as well as committing to an exercise plan. Without that, the procedure will not be as successful, and the weight will simply come back once the balloon is removed.
How the Gastric Balloon Is Better than the Gastric Band
There are a couple of clear benefits of the balloon over the band, including:
- It is more affordable.
- It is a temporary procedure, with the balloon staying in place for just six months.
- It is minimally invasive, which means there is less risk of complications, virtually no pain, and no external scarring.
That said, there are certain ways in which the band is better. The greatest benefit of the band is that it is a permanent solution, which means people are less likely to put the weight back on. With the balloon, people are on their own after the six months of wearing it.