Some may find the search for a weight loss procedure daunting, while others may find it exciting. Regardless, finding the right one for you is certainly an important process.
One such procedure that has become fairly popular is the gastric balloon procedure, or the endoscopic intragastric balloon. The simplest explanation is that it places one to three inflated balloons in your stomach for up to six months, but what more should you know and expect?
How Does the Balloon Process Work?
A fairly simplified procedure, the whole process will typically take less than 30 minutes to start and you’ll be on your way in no time. Keep in mind, this also depends on which type of balloon you are using, as some doctors will have different processes.
With most, your doctor will pass a small catheter down your throat into your stomach. This catheter will hold the ballon that will then be dropped into your stomach and inflated with either air or saline. Your doctor will also have a small endoscope that will go down your throat to your stomach so they can see the entire process.
During the first few weeks, your diet may be limited to liquids and soft foods, but over time you will be able to eat solid foods just like before. However, you’ll notice that you’ll only be able to eat small amounts.
After about six months of having the balloon, or balloons, in your stomach, they will be removed using an endoscope, and you should see amazing results (pending you followed the doctor’s orders, of course)!
How Do I Know If I’m a Candidate?
If you have a BMI between 30 to 40 and are over the age of 18, then you most likely are a good candidate. However, dependent on the type of balloon you choose, there may be a few restrictions. As noted from the sites of Orbera and Obalon, here are a few things that may not make you a candidate:
- You have a history of IBS, Crohn’s disease, or any other bowel related issue.
- You have an untreated alcohol or drug addiction.
- You are pregnant or nursing.
- You have been diagnosed with an eating disorder or your daily diet consists of many high calorie liquids.
- You have ever had a prior weight loss surgery other than another balloon.
- You have had prior surgeries that led to a narrowing of your GI tract.
- You are unable to swallow a pill sized balloon.
Of course, the best route to take to find out if you are a candidate is to contact MIB Surgery today! They’ll provide you with insight to the procedure and help you determine if it’s the right choice for you.
How Much Does It Cost?
Typically not covered by insurance, balloon weight loss will be primarily out of pocket. However, it’s always good to contact your doctor to discuss payment options. On average, the cost of the procedure is typically around $8,000 in the US.
Do I Have to Exercise After the Procedure?
While there’s no way to force you to exercise, it is recommended that you couple balloon weight loss with an exercise regimen of at least 2.5 hours a week. This will allow you to lose weight quicker, and also keep the weight off after the procedure is complete. The ultimate goal is to keep a consistent exercise routine that includes endurance, flexibility, and strength training while managing a healthy diet!
If you’ve decided that you’re interested in discussing a ballon weight loss procedure, contact MIB Surgery today! We’ll walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have so that you can get started on a journey towards a more healthy YOU!