What Is Being Said On Patient Forums About Intragastric Balloons?

For over two decades patients have been utilizing help from special medical devices called intragastric balloons to lose weight. These devices have gone through redesigns over the years and have changed in size and shape making them safer and more effective.

Weight loss balloons like the Orbera intragastric balloon are growing popular for a few reasons:

  1. They offer a non-surgical effective solution for patients who are trying to lose weight;
  2. These patients are talking about their experiences and sharing their success stories on social media, websites, and intragastric balloon forums so the word is getting out.

Today we are going to look at an overview of intragastric balloons, how they work for weight loss, and what some patients are saying about their experience with losing weight aided by an intragastric balloon.

Here Is What Patients Are Saying On Gastric Balloon Forums

On a forum website, content is arranged loosely by topic but it allows a patient to post a question and then allows the opportunity for others to answer the question. The original questions are represented by Question and the patient answers are represented by Patient.

Question 1: How are you doing since your balloon placement?
Patient A: I had my balloon placed about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I am 5’6” and started at about 297 pounds. I am not hungry at all but had cramping for about a week and luckily did not have any nausea. I think many people think that having the gastric balloon is going to be a quick fix but that is not the case at all. It is just a tool to use. I am hopeful that I will reach my goal weight and I still have a long way to go. My BMI was 47.5 when I started and I have already lost almost 20 pounds and my BMI is down 3 points already which is pretty exciting to me.
Patient B: I don’t really feel too different since having the balloon placed 11 days ago except I get rather full quickly. I did not do any pre-procedure liquid diet or anything special. I guess I am pretty lucky because I did not experience much nausea except for the first day but I used the patch and the medicine. I had my balloon placed on Friday and returned to work on Monday. I am still on the liquid diet but I started at 243 pounds and I am already down 22 pounds.
Patient C: I had the balloon for about 3 months but because I had issues with low blood pressure, I had to have it taken out early. The worst part of having the balloon was the nausea. When I had the balloon taken out, I had no pain or adverse effects. I was very happy with my weight loss results. I lost 53 pounds in only 12 weeks with the balloon and have kept losing, I have lost 99 pounds so far. I have a more positive mental attitude and I am much healthier. I now love to shop and I can buy clothes off the rack and know they will fit. I am no longer on blood pressure medicine and my diabetes and blood sugar levels are normal and so is my cholesterol. I did suffer from quite a bit of nausea with the balloon but it was worth it and it 100% changed my life.
Question 2: I am thinking about the balloon, did you have side effects*?
Patient A: I reached my goal weight by losing 61 pounds with the Orbera balloon and I feel great. I had amazing support from my doctor and his entire office. I felt pretty rough the first few days but I was lucky and never got sick but I did need to go in a few times for fluids. I found it challenging to get enough liquids at first but then everything went fine.
Patient B: I need to do better because I have only lost about 11 pounds and it seems like everyone posting here has lost more. I know that I need to make better food choices because I know that it is my fault that I have not lost more. I am going to do better.
Patient C: It was hard at first and I had lots of burping and gas. I just got the balloon removed and I lost 26 pounds so that is good.
Patient D: I had heartburn, and gas and I had to burp a lot. Other than that, I was lucky and didn’t have a lot of bad side effects. I only really noticed that I had the balloon when I ate too much or if I ate too late at night. I am trying to put a lot of thought into what I am eating because I am only down 19 pounds and I am still trying to drink more water but so far I am doing ok.

*No two individuals are exactly the same so experiences can vastly differ and a gastric balloon may not be the perfect solution for every patient. For some, slow weight loss progress is discouraging, for others, the weight is coming off but it’s at a price (chronic nausea). One of the benefits of the gastric balloon is that it can be removed in a 15-minute procedure if necessary.

Question 3: Have you been losing weight with the balloon and what has helped you?
Patient A: It has helped me to see the weight coming off and counting toward my goal. I was 220 when I started and I am 4 months in and now at 198. I have learned that I am going to have to put in the work every day to reach my goal of 168 and this is not an easy way out. I am doing some cardio exercising about half the week and could probably lose weight if I increased this but I am easing myself into this new lifestyle.
Patient B: What I think helped me the most is the support I received. I tried to lose weight by myself with other diets and exercise but I found it boring and it was hard to stay motivated. So far I have lost 72 pounds and I am still doing well. All the training and information I can reference has been really great.
Patient C: My weight loss program with the balloon has been very successful. I lost 85 pounds and I think one thing that helped me was that I had accountability to my support team and they were there all the time to help me push forward. The doctor and nutritionist were great and opened my eyes so I could see that I can make my own choices and they can be healthy ones that help me maintain my weight loss long-term.
Question 4: Have you had to make a lot of lifestyle changes after getting the Orbera balloon?
Patient A: I did have to make many changes but it was very worth it to me. I had attempted to lose weight before but no one explained to me why I was not losing weight or taught me why it is important to make certain food choices. I have lost 50 pounds and I have learned so much about myself and replaced poor eating habits with healthy ones that are going to stick.
Patient B: I weighed over 300 pounds and lost 130 after six months and then three weeks after I am still losing weight. I did not realize how much I was eating before and that my portion sizes were much too big. I have made many lifestyle changes but to me, they are nothing I am going to miss because what I have replaced them with is better. I feel better about myself and my life now and have learned so much from having the Orbera balloon.

What Is An Intragastric Balloon?

Understanding how an intragastric balloon works will pave the way for clear comprehension of what patients are saying on the forums about gastric balloons and their experience.

An intragastric balloon is a temporary medical device that is placed into a patient’s stomach for the purpose of promoting weight loss. The deflated balloon is deposited in the stomach through an endoscopic procedure and does not require incisions or surgery. It is then filled with saline solution until it is approximately the size of a grapefruit. The balloon remains in the patient’s stomach for six months.

How Does A Balloon Help Someone Lose Weight?

Many individuals try dieting and increasing their activity levels to lose weight but are unsuccessful for many reasons. A few of those reasons are:

  1. They continually feel hungry;
  2. They are eating too much at mealtime.

The intragastric balloon helps patients manage these two issues by taking up a significant amount of room in the patient’s stomach and keeping them full and satisfied for a longer time.

A patient lost 36 lbs in 6 months after the Orbera balloon insertion
A patient lost 36 lbs in 6 months after the Orbera balloon insertion

During the six months when the balloon is forcing portion control and helping to keep the hunger pangs at bay, the patient is working with a support system that is providing a comprehensive program customized to help them meet their weight loss goals. This program includes diet & nutrition counseling, guidance with physical activity, lifestyle coaching, emotional support, etc.

The balloon is removed after six months but the patient continues to follow their plan with support for the remainder of their 12-month weight loss program. The goal is for patients to learn new lifestyle habits and behaviors that promote a healthy lifestyle so they can reach their weight loss goals and then continue to maintain a healthy weight.

Do You Have To Have Surgery To Get An Intragastric Balloon?

No, there are no incisions involved and both the placement and removal of the balloon are conducted through a non-surgical procedure.

An endoscope is used to perform the procedure which is a medical instrument that is gently lowered down a patient’s throat while they are sedated. The endoscope is a hollow tube that has a camera and a light mounted to the end and the surgeon is guided with a live video stream that is projected onto a nearby monitor.

The doctor lowers a deflated balloon down the endoscope and then fills it with a saline solution until it takes up about 2/3 of the patient’s stomach. Then the endoscope is removed and the patient will stay for observation for just a few hours.

The balloon placement is done as an outpatient procedure so the patient can return home the same day.

Where Can I Get Orbera in New York?

Struggling with trying to lose weight is frustrating and no one should have to face that challenge alone. It is time to get the help you need to reach your weight loss goals and become healthier. Contact Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center today to set up an appointment to learn more about what the Orbera intragastric balloon 12-month program could do for you. Our team of caring and knowledgeable professionals is available to answer any questions or address your weight loss concerns. With our OnTrack lifestyle coaching program, we support our patients during their weight loss journey and even after.

We want our patients to achieve success, reach their weight loss goals, become healthier, and then share their experiences with others. We hope that this will inspire these individuals to reach out and get the help they need as well. Contact us today to learn more about the Orbera weight loss balloon and if it would be a good fit for you.

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