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What Is an Endoscopic Gastric Balloon?

The endoscopic gastric balloon is a recent non-surgical procedure designed to treat morbid obesity by limiting how much you can eat and increasing the feeling of satiety, through a saline-filled silicone-balloon placed in your stomach. This procedure is recommended if you are overweight and other methods -like diet and exercise- haven’t worked on you.

King’s offers the Endoscopic Gastric Balloon procedure as part of our Weight Loss & Bariatric Programme, that includes an optional 6 month support package post surgery, to ensure you have the best opportunity to reach your weight loss goals.

Why Is the Surgery Done?

The placement of an Intragastric balloon helps you to lose weight, and as a consequence, to reduce the risk of potentially serious weight-related health problems. An intragastric balloon is only recommended after you have tried losing weight by other lifestyle/habit related changes.

Types of Gastric Balloon

There are several types of gastric balloon, the following three are commonly used at King’s.

  1. Elipse Balloon – Not endoscopy is required. It can be swallowed and is then inflated once in the stomach.
  2. Spatz Balloon – Requires endoscopy however this uniquely designed balloon can have its size adjusted at regular intervals to aid comfort or increased weight loss goals.
  3. Orbera Balloon – A globally recognized  balloon brand that’s placed endoscopically.

Who Is the Surgery Recommended For?

An intragastric balloon is mostly recommended for people with morbid obesity that are not eligible for weight-loss surgery, or who want a temporary weight loss option. After being assessed your doctor may decide if the procedure is beneficial for you or not. The following conditions are required to qualify for the procedure:

  • BMI between 30 and 40.
  • No history of stomach ulcers.
  • Commit to healthy lifestyle changes.

Benefits and Potential Results

An endoscopic intragastric balloon can lead to significant weight loss, depending on how much you change your lifestyle habits. After the placement of the intragastric balloon, studies estimate the weight loss to be about 10 to 15% of body weight during the first six months.

The following conditions may also be improved:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Heart diseases
  • Sleep apnea
  • Osteoarticular diseases


Intragastric balloon is a safe procedure with a minimal rate of complication. Usually, patients suffer from pain and nausea after the insertion of the device. Although, the symptoms are presented for only a couple of days and can be treated easily.

Before Surgery

In order to be selected as a valid candidate for the procedure, your doctor might require some lab tests and also, recommend a high-protein and low-carbohydrate diet some days before. The night before, you are not allowed to consume any food or liquid after midnight.

During Surgery

Endoscopic Intragastric balloon is a non-invasive procedure preformed using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a camera. The procedure involves the following steps:

  • A thin tube will be advanced with the intragastric balloon down your throat into your stomach.
  • The endoscope passes through your mouth into your stomach.
  • The balloon is now filled with saline.

During the procedure, you will be sedated and monitored closely for any complication. The whole procedure will take about a half-hour.

After Surgery

Immediately after the procedure, you won’t be allowed to eat or drink for about 8 hours. After that, a liquid diet will be placed for two weeks. Then, you will be allowed to move into semi-solid foods and probably be able to start eating your regular healthy diet around three weeks after the procedure. Most people go home within the same day and it takes about 1-3 days to fully recover at home and return to work.

Intragastric balloons are left in place for no more than 6 months, after which they are removed using an endoscope.

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