A gastric balloon can assist in weight loss, without the need for surgery.
Gastric balloons are made from durable plastic, are spherical in shape and filled with water to a volume of between 500 and 700mls, depending on the type of balloon; about the size of one and a half to two Coca-Cola cans.
On average, with an intra-gastric balloon, patients will lose 10-15% of their bodyweight. The balloons create a sense of fullness and reduce appetite, allowing patients to eat less and lose weight. Specialist dietetic support is needed to achieve optimal results and help maintain weight loss, after the balloon.
Patients with a BMI>27kg/m2 are eligible for an intra-gastric balloon
Different Intra-Gastric Balloons
Streamline patients have a choice of the Orbera 365TM Balloon or the ElipseTM balloon. The two systems differ in two ways. The Orbera Balloon is placed in the stomach, by endoscopy, under sedation while the Elipse balloon is swallowed by the patients, without a procedure.
The Elipse balloon, remains in the stomach for four months. The Orbera balloon can stay in the stomach for up to 12 months, 365 days, before it has to be removed.
The weight loss with each system is similar, but the Orbera 365 balloon does help with maintenance of weight loss, for longer.
Both systems are effective, but there are some patients who are not eligible for the Elipse system. Our dieticians and clinicians are very well trained, and can help patients, to choose, the system, which best suits them.
The Elipse Balloon
The Elipse balloon has been developed by Allurion Technologies and is the first procedure-less balloon, that doesn't need to be placed or removed by endoscopy. Instead the patient swallows the capsule, seen in the adjacent photo.
In the X-ray department, with the assistance of a large mouthfull of water, the patient swallows the capsule. Further gulps of water, propel the capsule down the oesophagus into the patient's stomach. An X-ray of the patient's stomach, confirms the position of the capsule in the patient's stomach, after which the balloon, contained within the capsule, is inflated, via the attached tubing, with sterile water to a volume of 500ml. The procedure takes about 30 minutes, after which the patient can drive home.
Patients can suffer some abdominal discomfort with nausea, for a few days after placement of the balloon, so anti-nauseas medication, smooth muscle relaxants and antacids are prescribed to reduce these side effects.
Four months later, a bio-degradable membrane, in the wall of the balloon gives way, releasing all the water, in the balloon, which is absorberd. The collapsed balloon shell, passes through the patient's intestinal tract and the balloon is excreted.
Throughout the time the balloon is in place and for 8 months after excretion, a year in total, patients recieve specialist dietician support, to help them acheive the best weight loss possible and change their eating habits, with the aim of sustaining the weight loss.
The Orbera 365 Balloon
For the last 20 years the Orbera 6-month gastric balloon has been the world leading balloon, with over 270,000 implanted. The new Orbera 365 TM is the same balloon but rather than being in the stomach for only 6-months, this balloon can stay in place for up to 12-months.
The Orbera 365 TM is placed in the stomach, endoscopically under mild sedation. The thin, deflated balloon is placed in the stomach, under endoscopic control. It is filled with saline to a volume of 500 to 700ml. The procedure typically takes about 20 minutes, with 2 hours spent in hospital. Patients can suffer some abdominal discomfort with nausea, for a few days after placement of the balloon, so anti-nausea medication, smooth muscle relaxants and antacids are prescribed to reduce these side effects.
12 months later, the balloon will be removed in the same way it was placed, by endoscopy, with mild sedation. For 12 months, patients receive intense dietetic support, to help them acheive the best weight loss possible and change their eating habits with the aim of sustaining the weight loss.