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Having an intra gastric balloon inserted in your stomach to aid in weight loss is becoming quite a popular procedure nowadays. The procedure itself lasts for only around 20 minutes and is quite safe to perform. The doctor carrying out the procedure will insert an endoscope in your stomach to ensure that there are no abnormalities that are visible. Once the doctor has confirmed that there is nothing that is preventing the placement of the balloon the next step is carried out.

The balloon is placed the same way as the endoscopy is carried out, through the mouth. Once the balloon has been placed inside, it is filled with sterile saline so that it increases in size.  The idea is of course to induce a feeling of ‘fullness’ so that the desire to eat large amounts of food is diminished. The satiety centre of the brain is activated once the stomach starts feeling full and this then diminishes the desire to eat more food.

Once the procedure is over, the patient is usually kept under observation for a couple of hours and then discharged. This is carried out as an outpatient procedure with no need for overnight stay in the hospital.

Post Operative Care

Some amount of nausea and discomfort can be expected immediately after the procedure. The balloon is a foreign object inside the stomach and there is some amount of time that needs to lapse before the body starts to accept its presence in the body.

The doctors will usually prescribe you medication to deal with this nausea and discomfort immediately after, as well as for the first few days. There is a likelihood of continuing to have this nausea even though medication has been provided.

A few people experience some amount of pain and discomfort in moving about after the procedure. A bed rest or a minimum amount of physical exertion is advised over the first three-four days following the procedure.

The ultimate success of the procedure depends upon the post operative care as well as the diligence with which the patient follows instructions. This procedure by itself will be rendered useless if the patient continues to eat large amount so food.

Remember, even though the presence of the balloon will cause you to feel full and eat lesser, there are some people who eat more after the initial period and get used to the new benchmark set for satiety. It is imperative that proper nutrition modification and exercise follow the completion of the procedure.

It’s temporary

This procedure is temporary, in that the balloon is usually kept inside the stomach for a maximum of six months before it is removed again. The idea is to lose around 15-30 kgs of weight which should be enough in itself, or enough to make dangerously obese individuals fit for further surgical treatment.

The balloon deflates by itself over a period of time, however it can occur before time in some cases. There is an included dye that turns the urine blue to indicate that the balloon has burst. In such an event you are required to seek immediate advice from your doctor.  

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