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Gastric Balloon in Turkey

What is Gastric Balloon? 


Gastric balloon is a recommended procedure for people with low body mass index and is an important alternative to bariatric surgery.  Most patients lose between 10% and 20% of their total body weight in six months. The gastric balloon is highly effective, does not require surgery and can be deployed within minutes. However, this practice is temporary, requiring lifestyle change, education and support for success.


The gastric balloon is a soft silicone-based balloon filled with 350-500 ml of blue solution. This balloon is inserted into the stomach using a medical endoscope, which is a flexible tube with a light and camera at the end, descending from the mouth to the stomach.  The gastric balloon generally stays in the stomach for up to 6 months. It must be removed to prevent complications such as intestinal obstruction. Finally, the gastric balloon is removed using the endoscope.


The gastric balloon works in 2 ways to help losing weight:


1) It reduces the available ground for food in the stomach. On average, the stomach volume is 1.5 L and the gastric balloon occupies almost half of this space. This leaves about 60% of your stomach ready to eat. You cannot physically eat as much in one sitting as you would before a gastric balloon.

2) The most important benefit may be that the balloon restricts the free passage of food and liquid.  
Restriction significantly slows the passage of food through the stomach, allowing you to feel full faster and stay full longer.


Pros and Cons of Gastric Balloon

As with any weight loss surgery, the gastric balloon has its pros and cons as well.



• It does not require surgery.
 •It is quick and easy to insert (some balloons may require anesthesia for insertion).
 •It results in weight loss.
 Along with a routine exercise and diet program, it will cause long-term weight loss.
 •Depending on the initial weight and lifestyle changes, 10-20% weight loss is experienced.
 •When the balloon is in the stomach, saturation is felt more quickly and the feeling of hunger decreases.




 •Reflux problem may occur.
 •Nausea and vomiting are very common in the first few days.
 •It is a temporary procedure.  •Weight management should be done after the balloon is removed.
 •Stomach cramps may occur.
 •It may be difficult to sleep.
 •Acute pancreatitis is a rare risk from an overfilled gastric balloon.


Things to Be Careful About Before Placing the Gastric Balloon


 Nothing should be drunk for at least 6 hours before the procedure and nothing should be eaten for at least 12 hours before the procedure.  It is extremely important to follow these guidelines, as nausea may occur after the balloon is inflated. The process can take about 20-30 minutes. Depending on the type of balloon preferred, a mild sedative or anesthetic may be given. The surgeon may prescribe anti-reflux and anti-nausea medications.


Removal of the Gastric Balloon


 After the patient gets rid of the excess weight and the time has passed, the gastric balloon is removed. In general, the gastric balloon is removed 6 months after the procedure. The balloon is removed by endoscopy. A mild sedative or anesthetic may be required. The balloon is deflated, held and removed with a piercer inserted through a tube inserted through the mouth.


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Diet After Gastric Balloon


 • In such procedures, surgeons give some important instructions and recommendations that patients must follow until the treatment process is complete. One of the most important recommendations given in the gastric balloon procedure is the diet that the patient should follow afterward. In this diet, which should be done after the gastric balloon is inserted, the first 3 days will depend only on fluid intake, and then the patient will start to eat soft foods. From the 10th day of the procedure, patients can start solid meals as directed by the doctor. In addition, this strict diet that patients will follow will greatly help the body adapt to the balloon, prevent dehydration and maintain your energy level.

•Minimal discomfort may be felt immediately after the gastric balloon is placed, which can last for a few days to several weeks. Some discomfort is normal. However, if the pain and discomfort persists more severely or for a long time, a doctor should be consulted. Weight loss will be significant during the first week. After each meal, one glass of water should be drunk slowly. This will greatly help rinse the balloon and prevent unpleasant situations caused by food sticking to the balloon. Dinner should never be eaten too late. Sleeping right after a meal is an extremely wrong action. It is necessary to wait at least 2 hours before going to sleep.

•Men can generally lose 4 to 7 kilos in their first week. Women, on the other hand, lose an average of 3 to 9 kilos during the first week. Appetite may start to open gradually. However, after eating a minimal amount of food, patients should feel full.

•Between the 3rd and 6th weeks, the appetite continues to get stronger. This process is very important. In this process, patients should continue to eat slowly, monitor what they eat and pay attention to signs of discomfort. Hiccups, reflux, and nausea indicate eating too much or too quickly.

•Between weeks 7 and 12, patients typically experience a slower rate of weight loss compared to the first 6 weeks.  This time should be used to maximize weight loss by focusing on healthy and nutrient-dense foods. A sustainable exercise routine should be implemented. Exercise should be an indispensable routine of life now. At least 5 to 10 thousand steps should be taken daily.

•Between weeks 12 and 26, patients should focus on maintaining weight loss. It is extremely important to learn how to maintain weight loss by focusing on a healthy diet and a sustainable exercise program. A quality program will provide access to dietitians, support groups, and other resources for 1 year after balloon placement. These programs should definitely be used.

During this period, weight loss can be continued. However, most patients' weight loss continues for 3 months. It is very important in this process to transform diet and exercise changes into habits.


Life After Gastric Balloon


 To be successful, patients should strictly focus on the following after gastric balloon removal:

•Meals should be eaten slowly.
 •Food and beverages must be programmed.
 •Some programs recommend 3 meals with a healthy snack in between (for example, an apple or a carrot). Other programs advocate consuming 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day.  Whichever option is preferred, it is absolutely necessary to stick to that program.
 •Foods with high nutritional value should be preferred.  Nutrient-dense foods are the opposite of processed foods.  •These are usually vegetables, fruits, meat and fish.
 •Fast food and carbonated drinks should not be consumed in any way.
 •A sustainable exercise routine should be continued.

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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

The most common gastric balloon risks are abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. For these situations the patient is given serum during the period. After the procedure, medications are given to prevent them.

The gastric balloon is in the form of an inflated, useful silicone balloon. It is adjusted according to the stomach volume of the person inside the stomach. Between 300 cc and 500 cc, the gastric balloon is inflated with a blue liquid solution. Many patients are worried that their stomach will enlarge their stomach. However, the gastric balloon alone does not enlarge the stomach.

Gastric balloon can stay 6 months or 1 year depending on preference. The difference of the 1-year balloon is that the balloon can be inflated more, that is, it can be adjusted. At the end of 6 months or 1 year, both are removed by performing an endoscopy again.

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