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Gastric Balloon in Houston, TX

At Northwest EndoSurgical, located in Cypress, board certified general surgeon Dr. Matthew St. Laurent is one of the first doctors in The Woodlands and Houston area to offer the gastric balloon.

How Does The Intragastric Balloon Work?

Dr. St. Laurent inserts a balloon into the stomach via the mouth and fills the balloon with a saline solution. Once inflated, the balloon occupies a portion of the stomach cavity, thus reducing the volume of food that the patient can consume. The procedure leaves the patient with diminished cravings and satiated with smaller quantities of food.

How Is The Gastric Balloon Procedure Performed?

The intragastric balloon is one of the quickest and least invasive bariatric procedures, requiring no incisions and minimal time spent in the hospital.

The procedure begins with Dr. St. Laurent passing an endoscopic camera, also known as a gastroscope, through the esophagus and into the stomach via the mouth. He checks for abnormalities during the first insertion, and if none is found, he inserts the scope a second time to position the balloon inside the stomach cavity. Once inside, the balloon is filled with a sterile saline solution through a small tube attached to the balloon. After checking for the proper positioning and inflation of the balloon, Dr. St. Laurent removes the tube from the patient’s body.

The entire procedure is performed under sedation and takes about 20 minutes. Patients do not stay in the hospital overnight, but they are required to stay for a few hours following the procedure for routine monitoring.

Dr. St. Laurent uses two different types of Gastric Balloon Systems:

ReShape™ Balloon System

Obalon Balloon System

Who Is The Intragastric Balloon Suitable For?

The intragastric balloon is most suitable for patients who need to lose no more than 40% of excess body weight. The FDA has approved intragastric balloons for patients with a BMI between 30 and 40. In some instances, the procedure can be performed for patients with a BMI greater than 40, but usually to minimize the risks associated with a later, more invasive bariatric surgery.

How Long Does The Gastric Balloon Stay In The Stomach?

The gastric balloon is approved for a six-month period, at which point it must be removed. If Dr. St. Laurent recommends a longer period of use, you must undergo an additional procedure to replace the first balloon with a new one.

What Happens If The Gastric Balloon Deflates Spontaneously?

The saline solution contains an indicator dye called Methylene Blue, which acts as a safety mechanism should the balloon deflate or leak. If your balloon deflates, your urine will turn green, at which point you should immediately contact Dr. St. Laurent to have the balloon removed.

How Will The Intragastric Balloon Be Removed?

The balloon is removed in the same manner that it was endoscopically inserted through the mouth. Dr. St. Laurent passes a catheter through the esophagus and into the stomach via the mouth, then he punctures the balloon to deflate it. Dr. St. Laurent then pulls the deflated balloon out of the stomach cavity and through the esophagus via the mouth.

How Much Weight Can I Lose With The Gastric Balloon?

Weight loss varies from patient to patient, but optimal results are achieved in tandem with a closely followed diet and exercise plan.

Will I be able to feel the Balloon in my stomach?

Slight discomfort is typical for most patients the first few days following the procedure, but a feeling of fullness is the only one that should remain afterward.

How Long Will It Take To Recover After The Procedure?

Some patients adjust to the balloon quicker or longer than others, but normal activity is usually limited for three days following the procedure.

Does The Gastric Balloon Require Frequent Visits To My Doctor After The Procedure?

Follow-up with a pre-assigned lifestyle team is critical to the success of the procedure and your long-term results. Patients typically meet with the team once a month for the six-month period the balloon is in place, and then bimonthly for the following six months. The lifestyle team will monitor and assess your progress and provide valuable health, nutrition, and exercise advice to ensure that you make long-term lifestyle changes and maintain your weight loss after the balloon is removed.

Will The Intragastric Balloon Limit My Activities?

Strenuous activity is prohibited for the first week following your procedure. Normal activities can be resumed once your body fully adjusts to the balloon. It is recommended that patients stick with a regular exercise plan to enhance their weight loss results.

Can I Drink Alcohol?

Alcohol consumption is fine in small amounts.

Can I Eat Anything I Want? Are There Any Food Restrictions?

There are no limits on the types of foods patients can consume. Indulging in large quantities of foods with high fat or sugar content, however, may cause you to feel ill. Patients will consume significantly smaller portions of food, which is important because overeating while the balloon is in place has proven dangerous.

What Does Intragastric Balloon Surgery Cost?

Costs vary from patient to patient as several factors influence the price of surgery. Meeting with Dr. St. Laurent is the best way to determine the overall cost for your individual procedure. Financing is an option.

If you live in The Woodlands and Houston area and are interested in learning more about the gastric balloon, please contact Dr. St. Laurent in Cypress today at 281-301-1404.