Gastric balloon

Gastric balloon

Intragastric balloon placement is a weight loss procedure in which a silicone balloon filled with saline is placed in the stomach. This allows you to lose weight by limiting how much you eat and makes you feel full faster.

Gastric balloon surgery is an option when weight is a concern and diet and exercise are not working.

Like any weight loss procedure, gastric ballooning requires a healthier lifestyle commitment. Consistent dietary changes and regular exercise should be made to ensure the long-term success of the procedure.

Why it's done

The placement of an intragastric balloon helps you lose weight. Weight loss can lower your risk of potentially serious weight-related health problems, such as:


  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Heart disease or stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
  • Type 2 diabetes

Intragastric balloon placement and other weight-loss procedures or surgeries are typically done only after you’ve tried to lose weight by improving your diet and exercise habits.

Who it’s for


An intragastric balloon may be an option for you if:


  • Your body mass index (BMI) is between 30 and 40
  • You’re willing to commit to healthy lifestyle changes, get regular medical follow-up and participate in behavioral therapy
  • You have not had any previous stomach or esophageal surgery

Intragastric balloons aren’t the right choice for everyone who is overweight. A screening process will help your doctor see if the procedure might be beneficial for you.

At this time, the cost for placing and removing the intragastric balloon may not be covered by health insurance, and would therefore be an out-of-pocket expense. 


Preparation method

If you plan to place an intragastric balloon in your stomach, your medical team will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. You may need to undergo various laboratory tests and tests before the procedure.

In the period leading up to surgery, you may need to limit what you eat, drink, and the drugs you take. You may also need to start a physical activity program.

What to expect

Gastric balloon surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure in an endoscopy room. You will be sedated for the procedure.

During surgery, a doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) filled with a gastric balloon through the throat and into the stomach. The doctor then inserts an endoscope (a flexible tube with a camera attached) down your throat and into your stomach. A camera allows the doctor to see how the balloon is filled with saline. The operation takes about 30 minutes. You can usually go home 1-2 hours after the treatment.

After procedure

You can drink a small amount of clear liquid about 6 hours after the procedure. A liquid diet is usually continued until the beginning of the second week when you start eating soft foods. A normal diet about 3 weeks after the gastric balloon is inserted. You will be able to. The gastric balloon is left in place for up to 6 months and then removed endoscopically. A new balloon may or may not be inserted at this point, but it depends on the plan you and your doctor have established.

After surgery, you will also meet frequently with members of your medical team, including: B. Your nutritionist and psychologist.

The Result

A gastric balloon makes you feel full sooner than you would with a regular meal, and you often eat less. One reason for this may be that the intragastric balloon slows down emptying of the stomach. Another reason is that balloons appear to alter levels of hormones that control appetite.

Weight loss also depends on how much lifestyle changes you can make, such as diet and exercise.

Based on summaries of currently available treatments, a loss of approximately 7% to 15% of body weight is typical 6 months after intragastric balloon placement. Overall excess weight loss is between 30% and 47%.

Like other procedures and surgeries that result in significant weight loss, intragastric balloons can help improve or resolve conditions commonly associated with obesity, such as:


  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Osteoarthritis (joint pain)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • high cholesterol

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)