Illustration of gastric balloon in stomach

Gastric Balloon

Are you struggling with the effects of obesity, but not comfortable committing to a surgical weight loss procedure?

The innovative gastric balloon procedure is a non-surgical bariatric treatment that can help you experience dramatic weight loss.

Dr. Matthew St. Laurent was one of the first doctors in the Houston, TX, area to offer the gastric balloon. Could it be right for you?

Illustration of gastric balloon in stomach

What Is a Gastric Balloon?

A gastric balloon (also called an intragastric balloon) is a silicone balloon that is inflated in a patient's stomach. When the balloon is inflated it takes up a significant amount of room, which allows patients to feel full after eating less food. As patients consume fewer calories thanks to their reduced appetites, they can begin to experience healthy weight loss.

How Does the Procedure Work?

Dr. St. Laurent inserts the intragastric balloon into the stomach through the mouth and esophagus. Once the balloon is in place, he fills it with a saline solution. The entire procedure is performed under sedation and takes about 10-15 minutes. Patients are able to return home a few hours after the treatment is complete.

Benefits of Gastric Balloon Treatment


The gastric balloon procedure is non-surgical. It requires no incisions and does not alter your stomach or any other organs in any way.

Very Safe

The balloons are made of a safe silicone material and filled with harmless saline. Side effects are minimal and serious complications are rare.

Great Results

When accompanied by a disciplined diet and exercise routine, gastric balloon treatment can help patients experience life-changing weight loss.

​Comprehensive Weight Loss Treatment Schedule a Consultation Today

Northwest Endosurgical officeAt Northwest EndoSurgical in Houston, TX, Dr. Matthew St. Laurent and his team offer comprehensive treatment that helps patients obtain and maintain long-term weight loss. In addition to several types of bariatric surgery, Dr. St. Laurent is proud to be one of the first doctors in the Houston area to offer the non-surgical gastric balloon procedure.

When you come to Northwest EndoSurgical, you receive so much more than a single weight loss procedure. Our staff includes bariatric-trained dietitians that help patients develop nutritious eating habits, a board-certified internist and pulmonologist, and certified professional counselors that help our patients address the mental and emotional aspects of obesity. We are invested in your success, and we will go above and beyond both before and after your procedure to help you achieve a healthier weight and lifestyle.

If you are considering an intragastric balloon, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our practice today. We offer balloons from both major American manufacturers, Orbera® and Obalon, and we offer competitive pricing along with flexible financing through CareCredit®, American Healthcare Lending, or United Medical Credit. You can schedule a consultation by filling out an online form or calling

(281) 921-1890

We're Here to Help You Satisfied Patients from the Houston Area


T Jones

October 2019

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The Staff at Northwest Endo Surgical are courteous, professional and very friendly. They really work hard with you at every step to ensure you feel informed and confident in your care. Dr. St. Laurent is awesome. From the seminar to my first consultation, the information he lays out in great detail will really help you make the right decision for yourself. And they are so helpful...SO Helpful. I know am in good hands when dealing with Dr. St. Laurent and his staff.

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Brad Wilson

February 2019

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This place is awesome and I'm very happy with my choice to go with them.  The doctor was very thorough in explaining everything.  I especially liked that he didn't want to know what my "choice" was and talked about the pros/cons and prices for each one.  He made my wife and I very comfortable for my upcoming surgery!

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Not Sure of Your BMI? Enter Your Height & Weight to Find Out

Gastric Balloon: a Non-Surgical Option for Weight Loss

Dr. St. Laurent discusses the basics of the Orbera and Obalon balloon devices and how they promote weight loss. Since the balloon can be deflated with ease, it's a safe, reversible, and quick option for losing weight. No incisions are involved, which means no downtime or surgical scars. Patients consider the intragastric balloon when they want a bariatric surgery alternative.

Treatment Timeline

The intragastric balloon is one of the quickest and least invasive bariatric procedures, requiring no incisions and minimal time spent in the hospital. Dr. St. Laurent most often works with the Orbera gastric balloon. The Orbera process begins with your initial consultation...


In your consultation with Dr. St. Laurent, he will review your medical history, measure your body mass index (BMI), and ask about your weight loss goals in order to determine what treatment plan or weight loss surgery will best suit your needs. If you and the doctor agree to proceed with an Orbera intragastric balloon, your procedure can be scheduled at our Houston-area office.
Number 1

Endoscopic Balloon Placement

When you come in for your procedure, you will first be put under sedation. Then, Dr. St. Laurent will pass an endoscopic camera, also known as a gastroscope, through your mouth, down your esophagus, and into your stomach. He checks for abnormalities during the first insertion, and if he doesn’t find any, he inserts the scope a second time to position the balloon inside your stomach cavity.
Number 2


Once the Orbera balloon is inside the stomach, Dr. St. Laurent fills it with a sterile saline solution through a small tube. After checking for the proper positioning and inflation, Dr. St. Laurent removes the tube from your body. The balloon is now taking up a significant amount of space in your stomach.
Number 3


You won’t have to stay in the hospital overnight, but you will be required to stay for a few hours following the procedure for routine monitoring. Normal activity is usually limited for three days following the procedure, and some patients may take slightly longer to adjust to the balloon than others. You may experience nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain. Most patients feel normal after a week, except that they feel full after eating less food.
Number 4

Weight Loss

The balloon typically remains in place for six months. To achieve healthy weight loss during this time, you will work with our counselors and dietitians to adopt an effective nutrition and exercise program. Patients typically meet with our lifestyle team once a month while the balloon is in place. A commitment to a healthy lifestyle combined with the appetite-reducing effects of the gastric balloon can help you lose significant weight in only half a year.
Number 5

Deflation & Removal

After six months, the gastric balloon must be removed. The balloon is removed in the same manner that it was endoscopically inserted through your mouth. Dr. St. Laurent passes a catheter through your mouth, down your esophagus, and into your stomach, and then he punctures the balloon to deflate it. He then pulls the deflated balloon back out of your stomach cavity and through your mouth.
Number 6

Long-Term Success

Our Houston-area weight loss practice is committed to the long-term health of our patients. We hope you continue to meet with our lifestyle team at least bimonthly for the six months following intragastric balloon removal. We can help you maintain healthy habits so the weight you lost stays off.
Number 7

Learn More Is the Balloon Right for Me?

If you're looking for a bariatric surgery alternative and live in the Houston area, Dr. St. Laurent and his team can help. Contact our practice online to begin your weight loss journey with an intragastric balloon.

Gastric Balloon Insertion

Surgery, or less invasive procedures like the balloon, is a big step and does require a commitment but it is a good option for someone struggling to lose weight and needs help.

Patient Satisfaction Reviews from the Greater Houston Area


Michelle Morgan


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Dr Matthew St. Laurent and his staff are simply the best. He is the go to for Bariatric surgeon. He makes you feel comfortable and confident. His staff is so helpful and when I was scared or had questions they are supportive and caring. Dr St. Laurent is the most kindest Doctor I have ever met, and as a EMT in the medical field I know my share of doctors. His bed side matter is amazing and on the day of surgery he was compassionate and caring. He has This demeanor about him that lets you know you’re in good hands.  I recommend him to anyone who is looking to get any bariatric surgery he is the best and you won’t regret it....

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Chris Goodrow


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Simply speaking to him created an immediate personal connection and a sense of understanding of my situation. He reinforced the ideals of the basics, diet, movement, and activity. He explained so much more that the previous Dr ever did. He didn't treat me like just another number on a folder. That goes a long way.

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Comparing Weight Loss Procedures Gastric Balloon vs. Weight Loss Surgery

An Orbera or Obalon balloon can yield good weight loss results, but how does the intragastric balloon compare to bariatric procedures such as gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery?

The team at Northwest EndoSurgical has created a series of convenient tables that compare the pros and cons of the different weight loss procedures we offer. We hope this provides an overview of the key advantages and disadvantages of each bariatric procedure, promoting additional insight into your options for weight loss.

If you have any additional questions, Dr. St. Laurent can go over these matters with you in greater detail during the consultation process.

Dr. St. Laurent with a patient
Thin woman holding out large jeans at the waist Thin woman holding out large jeans at the waist

Are You Ready for Dramatic Results?

Since the balloon can be deflated with ease, it's a safe, reversible, and quick option for losing weight.

FAQs About the Gastric Balloon


Is the gastric balloon procedure reversible?

Yes. Dr. St. Laurent can safely and easily deflate the intragastric balloon. This simplicity is one of the key advantages of this non-surgical weight loss option.

Is it painful to get a gastric balloon?

Getting an intragastric balloon is not painful. However, some patients report cramping and discomfort from the balloon in the first few days after it's been inflated. This is a temporary side effect and can be managed by following our instructions for aftercare.

How much weight can I lose with a gastric balloon?

While results vary, patients can lose almost half of their excess body weight six months after the gastric balloon procedure. Patients are more likely to experience optimal weight loss results by also eating a balanced diet, staying physically active, and leading a healthy lifestyle.

What can I eat after getting a gastric balloon?

In the first month after the balloon procedure, patients will follow a routine bariatric surgery diet, with an all-liquid diet for the first week and a slow reintroduction of solid foods in the weeks that follow. This promotes weight loss and helps prevent severe side effects after balloon placement.

What other diet changes will I need to make after getting a gastric balloon?

After the initial transitional diet, patients can eat many of their favorite foods, though we recommend the following to ensure comfortable, gradual, and sustainable weight loss:

  • Savor your food and chew thoroughly
  • Avoid carbonated and alcoholic beverages
  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Reduce carbohydrate consumption
  • Hydrate in between meals
Dr. Matthew St. Laurent

Northwest Endosurgical

At Northwest Endosurgical in Houston, Texas, Dr. Matthew St. Laurent helps patients achieve dramatic weight loss and improved health through bariatric surgery. Dr. St. Laurent is one of the most experienced bariatric surgeons in greater Houston, and he is affiliated with several professional organizations, including:

  • The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
  • The American College of Surgeons
  • The Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons
  • The Obesity Action Coalition
  • The American Medical Association
  • The Texas Medical Association
  • The International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO)

To schedule a consultation, book online or give us a call at (281) 921-1890.

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