Preparation for the insertion of an intragastric balloon
The surgeon and nurses will work closely with you to help prepare you for your procedure. You will come to a preliminary examination and assessment session where you will be asked about your general condition, medications that you take (if any) and previous surgeries that you underwent. In some special cases, your surgeon may request specific tests, such as an ESG, x-ray or blood tests.
You are required to fast 8 hours before the intragastric procedure.
What you will go through during the procedure
The procedure starts with you receiving local anesthetic spray in the throat and a relaxing intravenous medication. Subsequently, the nurse will insert a plastic ring between your teeth to keep your mouth open and protect your teeth from the tube. Then the binoculars are passed through your mouth and down into your stomach. This is not painful and you will be able to breath easily. It may be necessary to blow air into your stomach to get a better view, this can give you a strange feeling and give you the urge to burp. The balloon is lowered into your abdomen and then the intragastric balloon is inflated with a saline solution. Finally, the scope (binoculars) will be inserted into the abdomen one last time to double check whether the balloon is in the correct position and properly inflated.
You will be able to return home within an hour but you MUST NOT drive a car or a motorcycle for the rest of the day.
Procedure After Inserting an Intragastric Balloon
The first 3-7 days after an intragastric balloon insertion, you may feel uncomfortable and nauseous. That feeling will disappear, and it will disappear quicker if you take the prescribed medication according to our exact instructions. It is important to take the medication before the onset of nausea.
Along with the feasibility study, you will be given dietary guidance and recommended exercises, which are crucial to the success of the weight loss treatment.
After 6-12 months, the intragastric balloon will be removed endoscopically under local anesthesia. Preparation requires that you be on a liquid diet for 3 days prior to the procedure, of which the last 24 hours should only be on clear liquids, followed by fasting from midnight. After removal, you will be discharged within an hour.
Risks and Complications of an intragastric balloon
All treatment interventions are associated with the risk of complications. Although the risk is very small and every effort will be made to reduce and prevent them. Some of the risks are:
- Gastric ulcer (can be prevented by taking stomach acid medicine).
- Diarrhea or constipation (can be easily treated with various over-the-counter medications).
- Aspiration pneumonia (Very rare).
- Acid reflux and heartburn (can be prevented by taking stomach acid medication).
- Puncture of intragastric balloon and intestinal obstruction (extremely rare, only a few cases are described in the literature).
Please note that not all users will be able to achieve the same results with a Gastriball® Stomach Balloon.
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