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Is The Gastric Balloon an alternative for the Gastric Band?

Gastric band or gastric balloon?

There are many occasions when people want to lose weight, or need to lose weight for medical reasons who can not qualify for gastric band or gastric sleeve operations because they have a BMI below 35.  It is now possible however for those people to elect for a gastric balloon.

What is a gastric balloon?
An Intragastric Balloon is a non-surgical operation which is designed to help people to lose weight when they have a BMI below the normal threshold for gastric band surgery. The procedure involves inserting a non-fixed saline solution filled silicone balloon in to stomach. This has the effect of reducing the eating capacity and calorie intake of the person. Initially, whilst the patients is under a minimal dose of anaesthetic the gastric balloon is introduced to the stomach through the oesophagus in a deflated condition. Once the surgeon is happy that the balloon is correctly placed inside the somach it is filled with the solution. This whole process takes around 20-30 minutes.

When can the Gastric Balloon be fitted?
They can be fitted to people with a BMI between 27 and 35 who need to lose  betwen 10-15kg reasonably quickly. The fitting of a gastric balloon is also suitable in cases where the person does not want to undergo surgery for medical or other reasons.  Normally gastric band surgery is only offered to patients with a BMI of Over 35, however, for some people who need to lose weight for medical or other social problems they can now have this alternative fitted. The person must be suitably motived to be able to follow a strict diet regime following surgery.

What are the benefits of the gastric balloon over the gastric Band?
The benefits of this type of surgery is the lower cost when compared to the more expensive full surgical procedures such as the gastric band or the gastric sleeve.  The gastric balloon typically remains inside the stomach for approximately 6 months. The targeted weight loss is generally expected to be in the region of 10-15kg. Pateints are then expected to maintain at least a further 6 months weight loss program following the removal.
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