Gastric Balloon Removal: When And Why

When trying to lose weight, an intragastric balloon can be a very helpful tool. They take up much of the stomach’s usable capacity, which helps prevent overeating and also helps keep the individual feeling full and satisfied for an extended period of time.

Today we are going to provide you with a quick overview of the gastric balloons that are currently available in the U.S. and how they work for weight loss. We will talk about the placement and removal of a gastric balloon and what can be expected after gastric balloon removal.

The Gastric Balloon Basics

Currently, in the United States, there are only two gastric balloon systems that are FDA-approved and available on the market: the Orbera and the Spatz3. The Obalon balloon is FDA-approved but has been removed from the market since March 2021, and there are no current plans to reintroduce it.

The Orbera and Spatz3 gastric balloons are inserted into a patient’s stomach in a deflated state using a non-surgical endoscopic procedure and then filled with saline liquid. The amount of liquid used to inflate the balloon will differ among patients; however, it will usually take up around ¾ of the space in their stomach.

While the balloon remains in the patient’s stomach, it is intended for them to become accustomed to eating smaller portions of healthy foods and changing their behavioral habits to avoid unhealthy choices and include adequate daily activity so they can continue to maintain a healthy weight.

What To Expect From The Gastric Balloon Removal Process

Taking the gastric balloon out of the stomach is done very similarly to the way it was installed. The doctor will slide an endoscope down the patient’s throat to access the balloon while they are slightly sedated. The balloon is drained, and the deflated shell is retrieved and removed through the patient’s mouth. The entire process usually takes around 20 to 30 minutes.

After the balloon is removed, patients are observed for a short time and then released into the care of a waiting friend or family member. They cannot drive themselves home because they will still be groggy from the sedative and will need to wait about 8 hours before they get behind the wheel.

Patients may feel some discomfort or nausea for a few days after the balloon is taken out, but these issues should resolve on their own in a day or two.

How Long Does A Gastric Balloon Stay In Before It Is Removed?

Each balloon manufacturer has its own set of special instructions on how long the balloon can safely remain in the patient’s stomach. The Orbera gastric balloon removal process is the same as the Spatz3.

Balloon Type Duration Of Time In Stomach
Orbera Six Months
Spatz3 Eight Months

One advantage of opting for a stomach balloon is that it is a temporary device. If the patient’s body has an adverse reaction to having the balloon installed in their stomach, it can be taken out very quickly.

Common side effects that occur after installing a balloon are nausea and vomiting, which normally last a few days to a week. In some cases, these symptoms do not subside, and the patient is unable to tolerate the balloon, requiring it to be removed. The balloon may also be removed early due to the development of pancreatitis, inadequate weight loss, or reaching the weight loss goal.

Is There A Special Diet After Gastric Balloon Removal?

Just before the balloon is removed, it is important that the stomach is entirely empty, so patients cannot eat solid foods for 48 hours before their procedure. Once the balloon is removed, some patients feel uncomfortable for a few days with nausea or vomiting, but this normally goes away quickly.

Each doctor may provide patients with detailed information on dietary plans and programs to help them reach or maintain their ideal weight. However, to maintain the weight loss results after the gastric balloon is uninstalled, it is necessary for them to actively follow a healthy, low-calorie diet and maintain the eating habits they learned while the balloon was in their stomach. Exercise, avoiding processed and fast foods, and living an all-around healthy lifestyle will help individuals maintain their results.

Want To Know More About Losing Weight With A Gastric Balloon?

The experts at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center can help you choose the best weight loss tools for your specific circumstances. The Orbera and Spatz3 balloons do not require surgery and are temporary tools that can help patients lose weight. Take a look at some of our weight loss patients before and after success stories! They did it, and so can you!

The excellent team of professionals at Batash Medical will be with you every step of the way to help guide you on your weight loss journey so you can successfully reach your weight loss goals. Set up an appointment today to begin your quest for improved health.

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