Gastric Balloon

Elevate Your Weight Loss Journey - Embrace the Non-Surgical Solution of a Gastric Balloon, Empowering You to Achieve Your Health and Wellness Goals!

Fast facts
92% Worth it rating
based on 194 reviews
45% cheaper in Turkey comparing the USA and Western Europe
Approximate length of stay
2 days
Hospital stay
0 days
Operation duration
30 - 60 minutes
Recovery period
3 days

A gastric balloon, also known as an intragastric balloon, is a non-surgical weight loss procedure that involves placing a deflated balloon into your stomach. This balloon is then filled with saline (salt water) to partially fill your stomach, leaving less room for large amounts of food or drink. The presence of the balloon in the stomach creates a feeling of fullness, thereby helping to control food intake and promoting weight loss.

There are different types of gastric balloons, such as the Obalon balloon, which are all designed to aid in weight loss for those who may struggle with diet and exercise alone or do not qualify for other forms of bariatric surgery. Unlike gastric balloon surgery, the intragastric balloon is a temporary measure and is usually removed after six months.

It's important to note that a gastric balloon is an aid in weight loss and not a magic cure. It needs to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular physical activity. It is also part of a broader lifestyle modification program that aims to help you make and maintain major changes in your dietary habits and physical activity levels to facilitate weight loss.

Pros of Gastric Balloon (Intragastric Balloon):

  • Non-Surgical Procedure: Unlike other weight loss surgeries, the gastric balloon procedure does not involve surgery. This reduces the risks associated with surgical procedures.

  • Short Procedure Time: The process of placing the balloon is relatively quick, typically taking about 20-30 minutes.

  • No Permanent Changes to the Digestive System: Unlike the other forms of Gastric surgeries (Bypass or Sleeve), The gastric balloon is a temporary measure and does not alter the anatomy of the stomach or digestive system. It will stay in your stomach for not more than 6 months.

  • Significant Weight Loss: It can lead to significant weight loss when accompanied by a healthy diet and exercise. 

  • Useful for People Not Eligible for Surgery: The gastric balloon can be a good option for people who do not qualify for weight loss surgery due to health risks or who are not significantly overweight (people with BMI between 24 to 40).

  • Supports Lifestyle Changes: It aids in establishing the habit of consuming smaller portions, which can lead to long-term lifestyle changes.

Cons of Gastric Balloon (Intragastric Balloon):

  • Temporary Solution: As the balloon is generally removed after six months, it offers a temporary solution. Long-term weight loss depends on maintaining lifestyle changes.

  • Possible Side Effects: Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, or discomfort, especially during the first few days after the balloon placement.

  • Does Not Treat Underlying Causes: The gastric balloon does not address the underlying causes of obesity, such as poor dietary choices and lack of physical activity. People suffering from these types of illnesses might need to consider more invasive bariatric surgeries.

  • Risk of Balloon Deflation or Blockage: There's a risk that the balloon could bring these risks, and it might necessitate early removal.

  • Requires Significant Lifestyle Changes: Success with a gastric balloon requires a commitment to a healthy diet and regular exercise. 

  • Potential for Weight Regain: There is a risk of weight regain after the balloon is removed if the patient does not adhere to lifestyle changes.

A gastric balloon, including the Obalon balloon, is generally considered safe with fewer risks compared to surgical weight loss procedures. However, like any medical procedure, it does come with certain risks and potential complications.

Most of the side effects associated with a gastric balloon are mild and temporary, often occurring shortly after the procedure. They might include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting: These are common in the initial days following the procedure but usually subside after the body adjusts to the balloon.

  • Abdominal Pain or Discomfort: Some patients may experience stomach pain or discomfort, which generally subsides over time.

  • Gastrointestinal Issues: These might include indigestion, bloating, or an irregular bowel movement.

More serious, but rare, complications can include:

  • Gastric Perforation: In very rare instances, the procedure can cause a tear in the stomach wall. 

  • Balloon Deflation: There is a risk of the balloon deflating, which could cause it to move through the digestive system and lead to a blockage that might require further medical procedures.

  • Gastric Ulcers: Although uncommon, there is a risk of developing gastric ulcers.

A good candidate for a gastric balloon procedure is typically an individual with a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 24 and 40. This range often includes people who are not clinically obese but struggle to lose weight through diet and exercise alone. 

Ideal candidates are those who are committed to making a significant lifestyle change. This includes adhering to a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen both during the time the balloon is in place and after it's removed, as the gastric balloon is most effective when used in conjunction with these lifestyle changes.

Additionally, having realistic expectations about the procedure, the weight loss process, and the long-term commitment required for maintaining a weight loss is essential.

Preparing for a gastric balloon procedure involves a few key steps:

  • Medical Evaluation: Your healthcare team will conduct a thorough health assessment to ensure you're suitable for the procedure. This might include blood tests, an endoscopic examination, or other diagnostic tests.

  • Dietary and Lifestyle Counseling: You'll meet with a dietitian to discuss changes in your diet and physical activity habits that you'll need to implement before and after the procedure.

  • Fasting: You'll likely need to fast (no food or drink) for a certain period before the procedure.

  • Plan for Recovery: Arrange for a ride home after the procedure and take a few days off work to rest and recover.

Remember, every individual is unique and your healthcare provider at Elara will provide a detailed, personalized guide on how to prepare for your specific procedure.

The gastric balloon procedure is a non-surgical method performed endoscopically, meaning it's done through the mouth and esophagus, eliminating the need for any incisions.

Here are the general steps:

1. Sedation: The procedure is typically performed under sedation, but it does not require general anesthesia. This means you'll be relaxed and drowsy, but not unconscious.

2. Insertion: A deflated gastric balloon is inserted into your stomach through your mouth and esophagus using a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope. This tube has a light and a camera attached to it, allowing your doctor to see inside your stomach during the procedure.

3. Inflation: Once in place, the balloon is filled with saline or air. This partially fills your stomach, limiting how much you can eat by making you feel full sooner.

4. Removal: The balloon is usually left in place for about six months. After that period, it is deflated and then removed through the mouth using a similar endoscopic procedure.

The gastric balloon procedure typically takes about 20-30 minutes. Afterward, you'll spend some time in the recovery room before being discharged to go home. As with any medical procedure, individual experiences can vary, and your healthcare provider at Elara will explain the procedure and what you can expect in detail.

After the gastric balloon procedure, here's what you can generally expect:

  • Immediate Recovery: You'll rest in a recovery room for a couple of hours while the sedation wears off. As the procedure doesn't require general anesthesia or incisions, you can usually go home the same day. 

  • Temporary Side Effects: In the first few days following the procedure, you may experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or bloating as your body adjusts to the presence of the balloon. These side effects are generally temporary and resolve on their own.

  • Dietary Changes: You'll start with a liquid diet for a few days, then gradually shift to pureed foods and eventually to a regular, healthy diet over several weeks. A dietitian will guide you through these changes.

  • Regular Check-ups: You'll have regular follow-ups with your healthcare team at Elara. These check-ups are important to monitor your progress, adjust your diet plan if necessary, and provide any support you might need.

  • Results: Weight loss with a gastric balloon varies between individuals and is highly dependent on a person's commitment to lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. However, on average, patients can expect to lose between 25% to 40% of their excess weight during the six months while the balloon is in place. Physical activity is key to both the weight loss process and maintaining your weight loss in the long term.

This means, for example, if a person is 100 pounds overweight, they could expect to lose between 25 to 40 pounds during this time frame. Keep in mind, these are averages and individual results can vary.

Weight loss often leads to significant improvements in health, such as better control of diabetes, lower blood pressure, and improved mobility. The key to maintaining this weight loss after the balloon is removed is continuing with the dietary and lifestyle changes made during the six months with the balloon.

The cost of a gastric balloon procedure can vary greatly between countries due to differences in healthcare systems, operational costs, and the cost of living. Turkey has emerged as a popular destination for this procedure largely due to its competitive pricing and high standards of care.

In the USA and Western Europe, the cost of a gastric balloon procedure can range anywhere from $6,500 to $8,000. In contrast, in Turkey, the cost for the same procedure is significantly lower, generally ranging from $2,500 to $3,000, which includes all medical fees, hospital stays, and follow-up care. That's typically 60-70% cheaper than in Western countries.

The cost-saving potential is largely due to the lower cost of living and operational costs in Turkey, allowing for high-quality medical procedures to be performed at a fraction of the price seen in the USA and Western Europe. Additionally, Turkey is renowned for its advanced healthcare system, well-trained medical professionals, and state-of-the-art medical facilities, offering patients excellent value for their money.

Choosing Elara for your gastric balloon procedure in Turkey comes with several distinct advantages:

1. Experienced Professionals: At Elara, we collaborate with some of the most skilled and experienced bariatric surgeons in Turkey. They have a strong track record of successful gastric balloon procedures, including the use of the popular Obalon balloon system.

2. Affordable, All-Inclusive Packages: Our gastric balloon procedure packages are competitively priced and all-inclusive. This means that they cover all costs associated with the procedure, from initial consultation to follow-up care, with no hidden fees.

3. World-Class Facilities: We partner with state-of-the-art hospitals that adhere to international standards of quality and safety.

4. Personalized Care: We understand that each patient is unique. That's why we provide personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs and weight loss goals.

5. Comprehensive Support: We're there for you every step of the way, providing support from the moment you contact us, during your stay in Turkey, and after your procedure.

6. Language Assistance: To make your experience as comfortable as possible, we offer translation services to ensure clear and efficient communication between you and your medical team.

By choosing Elara, you're opting for high-quality, affordable medical care delivered by a team that truly cares about your health and well-being. We're committed to helping you achieve your weight loss goals and improve your quality of life.

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