The stomach balloon is not actually inserted surgically. It is a synthetic material /silicon balloon which is inserted with an endoscope (An EGD - esophagogastroduodenoscopy - is a procedure that visualises the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract with the use of an endoscope) and it is filled with a sterile cooking salt solution. The balloon is too big to move in the intestines and the oesophagus. It swims in the stomach.
The stomach is filled quicker as a result of the stomach balloon. The aim is to reach a feeling of satiety which is brought about by the expansion of the stomach.
A stomach balloon does not need to be inserted surgically in contrast to the gastric band. Therefore there is no operational risk.
The insertion of a stomach balloon is effective for those suffering from being overweight and who are unable to lose weight with the help of other weight loss techniques.
The insertion of the stomach balloons is usually not covered by health insurance. The procedure costs between 2.000 to 3.000 EUR.
Risks of using the Stomach Balloon
- One of the risks of having a stomach balloon is that it could completely or partially "disappear" in the intestines. It must be surgically removed if this "disappearance" leads to a blockage of the intestines
- The stomach balloon can only be inserted for a period not exceeding 6 months.
- The stomach balloon causes the stomach walls to expand. This constant exertion of pressure does not only cause damage, it can also lead to ulcers.
- After the stomach balloon is removed, it is possible that the volume of the stomach could be bigger than it was before. This means that it would take longer to get full and result in weight gain.
- If the stomach balloon is damaged i.e. it loses its liquid then it becomes ineffective.
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