Gastric Balloon: Lose Weight without Surgery
A gastric balloon allows patients to effectively lose weight without surgery. This safe and reversible procedure is a great way to experience weight loss before deciding if surgery is the right choice for your specific needs. Dr. St. Laurent can determine if this solution is right for you.View transcript
Gastric balloons are truly not a surgery. It's more of what we would call a procedure. The reason it's not surgery is because there's no general anesthetic for the patient. There's no cuts, there's no incisions. Gastric balloon is basically taking a silicone balloon and inserting it into the stomach and filling it with a saline solution. What that does is it occupies a significant portion of the gastric cavity and decreases the amount of food a patient is capable of eating. In addition, it helps slow the digestive process because it takes longer for food to go around the balloon to go into the more distal stomach and eventually the small intestine. The nice thing about the gastric balloon is it is very safe. It's also 100% reversible. So the majority of patients who come to us wanting the balloon tend to have smaller amounts of weight to lose. Some of our other patients that are very interested in that procedure are patients who are just afraid of surgery. Maybe they're also looking for a step approach to losing weight, doing something like a gastric balloon to lose a little bit of weight to then make something like a gastric bypass, a gastric sleeve a safer operation. Gastric balloons have a very rapid recovery. Patients, after the actual balloon is placed, go home that same day. There is a little bit of a modified diet that we have on the postoperative period until they become more accustomed to the balloon. But the nice thing about the balloon is there's very little downtime associated with it and it is a very safe procedure. Recuperation is pretty quick. Most of these balloon patents can go back to work the following day after the procedure.