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?

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 can 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, patients experience life-changing weight loss with the gastric balloon. Houston patients can turn to us to learn if this or another weight loss solution is right for them.

​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 who help patients develop nutritious eating habits, a board-certified internist and pulmonologist, and certified professional counselors who 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


Marie Stockdick

Houston, TX


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Very professional The entire staff and doctors were the best in every aspect. Friendly and explain things in a way you can understand. You leave with a feel good feeling about yourself.

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Lisa Woodward

Houston, TX


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Dr. St Laurent is one of those very special drs. You rarely find. He has spent so much time with me explaining things to me and and taking my calls all hours of nights and weekends. Yes weekends! While I felt bad about contacting him on a Sunday, he was right there to direct to the Er to help me get my issues under control. A truly kind and attentive dr.

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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.

We'll Help You Budget for Treatment

We accept most insurance plans, and if yours covers any aspect of gastric balloon treatment, we will work with your provider to maximize your coverage. We also accept financing through CareCredit, American Healthcare Lending, and United Medical Credit, and can help you explore these options when you visit our office. If you prefer to use an existing line of credit, we accept American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa.

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

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:
"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."
"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."


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 to determine what treatment plan or weight loss surgery will best suit your needs. If you and our doctor agree to proceed with an Orbera intragastric balloon, your procedure can be scheduled at our Houston bariatric surgery 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

The Importance of Counseling Alongside Gastric Balloon Treatment

There is a common misconception that weight loss treatments like this will force you to lose weight. A gastric balloon controls the physical volume of your stomach and your hunger levels, but you must understand that these are only tools. We will teach you how to use these tools, but you can't expect a gastric balloon or even a surgical treatment alone to result in weight loss.

In fact, we believe losing weight is 90% mental. Patients have to be willing to make sustainable lifestyle changes. With the help of our dietitian, you can gradually change how, when, why, and where you eat. Your dietician can work with your current diet and make it work for you. This will require leaving your comfort zone and developing self-discipline, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to enjoy your food or indulge now and then. Our goal is to help you develop sustainable habits you can maintain for the rest of your life. Even after your goal is reached, we recommend seeing our dietician once or twice each year to help you stick to these healthy new habits.

Woman eating salad in her kitchen after gastric balloon procedure

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.

Houston Comes to
Dr. St. Laurent
for Sustainable Weight Loss


Julie Bernard

Houston, TX


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Staff is extremely friendly and prompt. Dr st. Laurent is very knowledgeable spends lots of time with you and answers any questions you have. You won't be disappointed

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Susan Loocke

Houston, TX


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I visited Dr. St. Laurent to go over issues I have that have developed over time. The office is beautiful and the staff that I worked with were wonderful. Dr. St. Laurent sat down and listened to my issues. He did not give me the impression he had any other patients- I was the number one and only focus during my visit. He explained my issues as well as did a really good drawing to make sure I understood. Highly impressed.

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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.

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 in Houston 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 at our Houston bariatric surgery office.

Dr. St. Laurent speaking with a patient

Patient Satisfaction Reviews From the Greater Houston Area


Joby Joseph

Houston, TX


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The team at Northwest Endosurgical is amazing. A summarization of their practice could be, "We Care, and We'll Help You Get There". They are very good at what they do. Dr. St. Laurent made me very confident and comfortable during and after the procedure. The dieticians are excellent. They are very patient and supportive. The team stands out by providing accountability and care, without shaming. The entire staff works in sync with you and the rest of the team. What else is there to write; they may have helped save my life.

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Bill Robinson

Houston, TX


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Very friendly environment. Dr. spends time with you discussing your situation. All of the staff are very patient focused. They really exemplify listening to the patient, and taking time to explain.

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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.

FAQ About the Gastric Balloon

We look forward to answering all your questions in person at our Houston office. Until then, here are answers to some of the most common questions patients ask 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

How do I keep the weight off after my gastric balloon treatment has ended?

This will depend on your ability to maintain the lifestyle changes you make during the course of treatment, and our Houston practice is here to help you do it. Our nutritional counselor will show you how to make lasting changes in your diet; you will be able to indulge occasionally while staying focused on fundamental practices that benefit your long-term health. Even after your balloon treatment has ended, we can provide follow-up counseling sessions every 6-12 months to help you stay on track.

Patients Recommend Our Houston Surgeon

"I cannot say enough about Dr St Laurent and his staff. Dr. St Laurent spent so much time explaining the surgery and eased the fears I had. He’s an amazing Doctor and I’m very happy with the choice I’ve made. Likewise, his staff are professional and caring. Great practice!" Michele Guiterrez, 5-Star Review
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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