The Intragastric Balloon is a soft silicone balloon that is inserted through the mouth and placed into the stomach. The balloon is inflated with a sterile saline solution effectively 'filling' a portion of the stomach. This method allows for short term and rapid weight loss.
The gastric balloon is made of an elastic and durable silicone, is swallowed via a long tube. It is then inflated with saline, partially filling the stomach and inducing the feeling of fullness. The tube used to place the balloon in the stomach is then removed. A gastric balloon helps the patient reduce their food intake and adopt new eating habits. This is used in conjunction with a healthy diet and behavior modification program to maintain weight loss. The procedure is reversible and the balloon is removed after attaining the target weight.
The intragastric balloon program is only suitable for certain people. As a guideline, any individual with a BMI of over 25 and having a weight issue is likely to be a suitable candidate for a gastric balloon. The program may be helpful if one is looking for:
- Short-term solution to weight loss
- To reduce health risks associated with obesity
- As preparation to vital surgery
- As part of a supervised weight loss program.