Gastric (stomach) balloon

Gastric (stomach) balloon

Overweight/obesity is currently endemic in the developed countries and its sequalae present a great public health challenge. 

Complications of obesity may include

  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • high level of cholesterol and triglycerides
  • arteriosclerosis
  • disorders of coronary, cerebral and peripheral arteries with increased risk of myocardial infarction or stroke
  • hepatic and biliary problems
  • disorders of the musculoskeletal system
  • different kinds of tumors
  • impaired fertility
  • sleep disorders

Over the past few decades, rate of obese individuals has been rising dramatically and overweight is prognosed to affect one third of global population in the near future, 10% of which is classified as critically obese. This condition interferes with the daily routine and working capacity as well. Unfortunately, obesity is currently endemic in Hungary with several underlying factors, such as overstressed, hectic lifestyle, unhealthy diet, lack of physical exercise etc.

Yo-yo effect (i.e. cyclic loss and gain of weight due to an improper dieting) affects millions of people all over the world. Therefore it is crucial to address it in a way that does not destroy the patient's health. The so called "zero calorie diet" (starving) is not a permanent solution to overweight problem, not to mention its other drawbacks. 

Miracle drugs and magic solutions published and marketed on the internet all promise an easy and fast weight loss but do not provide long-lasting, positive results. What's more, it is a real fortune if no severe health problems arise from the use of such tools.

Gastric balloon therapy is a new modern solution for weight loss that eliminates yo-yo effect and ensures a permanent reduction of body weight. It can be used in patients with a BMI of 27 or more when no other weight reducing diets or processes are recommended.

Insertion of a gastric (stomach) balloon is a non-invasive procedure, i.e. it does not involve any cut, incision on the body. 

The intervention is made under sedation, by the help of an endoscope, putting only a minimum burden to patient's body. The balloon is filled with coloured physiology saline solution, moves freely inside the stomach and as a foreign body, prevents the patient from excessive food consumption, establishing a reduced food intake as a habit. If successful, the intervention can be repeatedly performed to reach additional weight loss. 

Further advantage of the stomach balloon is that any kind of food or drink can be consumed, while respecting the instructions of the dietician or gastroenterologist. Real, permanent weight loss will be a result of long-term changes in diet and lifestyle.

This procedure is also an excellent solution for patients with concomitant diseases where no other dieting methods can be applied and/or several previous weight loss diets failed.

It is not enough to insert the balloon. Crucial part of the therapy is to establish an appropriate diet and individualized physical exercises, following the instructions of the specialist. 

Should these instructions are respected; a weekly weight loss of 1 to 1.5 kilograms (a total of 15 to 25 kilograms) can be expected during the 6-month period of the gastric balloon therapy. Patients with a considerable overweight may lose even 25 to 35 kilograms. Naturally, it depends of individual factors and the extent of adhering to the specialist's advice. Typical reason of therapeutic failure is partial or total ignorance of the corresponding instructions.

Stomach balloon teaches the patient's brain when to stop eating. On one hand, it "programs" the brain regarding the desired volume of food consumption, on the other hand it is a motivating factor; i.e. by the time excess body weight is lost, the patient will have been able to control his/her food intake properly. 

What is the maximum duration of a gastric balloon being in the stomach?

Typically the balloon can be left in the stomach for 6 months (12 months in very rare cases). After approximately 5 months the brain will get accustomed to the balloon so weight loss may slow down or stop. 

Brain can be "cheated" for a maximum of half a year. Nevertheless, 6 months are sufficient for learning and establishing a more health-conscious diet and lifestyle. Furthermore, manufacturer guarantees the integrity of the balloon for 6 months. Although it is made of highly resistant materials, the balloon has a limited lifetime due to its continuous, everyday exposition to gastric acid and digestive enzymes.

Are there any preliminary examinations needed?

Of course, there are. Insertion of a gastric balloon must be preceded by a comprehensive medical health check. We would like to screen for any health conditions, diseases that may contraindicate or interfere with gastric balloon therapy. After this screening, the gastroenterologist informs the patient on how the procedure goes, discusses the related expectations with him/her and answers all of his/her questions regarding the therapy.

Consultation consists of a general overview of the patient's and family's medical history, a comprehensive health check, laboratory tests, ECG, abdominal and pelvic ultrasound and a previous panendoscopy of the upper digestive tract.

If required by the specialist, further examinations such as cardiology and/ or pulmonology consultations are also available.

The above examinations can be performed at Oktogon Medical Center without waiting time but you can also have them made by the help of your GP.

Our medical center aims to make your life easier by saving time for you; therefore we provide a complex package for your gastric balloon therapy. 

This complex package contains the taking patient’s  medical history by asking questions, a general health check, ECG, abdominal and pelvic ultrasonography and previous panendoscopy if needed; costs of the gastric balloon and other equipments; costs of endoscopic insertion and removal of the balloon under sedation; as well as follow up examinations after the placement of the balloon.

In addition to the complex gastric balloon package, you have the opportunity to ask for advice from our dietary specialist. This is recommended anyway, in order to ensure permanent, long-lasting weight loss. If you ask for our complex gastric balloon package you will get a discount from package price.

Information about the balloon, its insertion and removal

Gastric balloon is a flexible, elastic, tissue-friendly container made of special materials that is mechanically and chemically resistant to gastric acid, digestive enzymes and foods. The deflated balloon is introduced to the stomach by the help of an endoscope, and then it is filled up with 500-600 ml of coloured saline or air. Both filling materials have their benefits. After the insertion, correct situation of the balloon is checked and the endoscope is removed. The balloon will then be able to move freely within the stomach, partly filling it and reducing its volume. Consequently, volume of food intake will decrease. The intervention takes about 20-30 minutes to perform. The patient is then observed for an hour or two and is allowed to leave for home together with an accompanying person. 

Until the removal of the balloon the patient should take an antacid medicine ( a so called proton pump inhibitor, PPI). The discomfort due to a "foreign body feeling" will go away in some days, depending on individual conditions.

For a several days after the placement of the balloon, nausea, feeling of sickness, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, pain may occur.

The balloon will be removed after 6 months under general anaesthesia, using an endoscopic instrument. Content of the balloon is aspired and discharged; then the deflated balloon is pulled out through the oesophagus.

Gastric (stomach) balloon prices

Gastric (stomach) balloon árak

Our extra fees are beyond the test fees, so we charge you extra than the test fees!

Cancellation or modification of the reservation more than 1 hour before the given time is free of charge. In case of cancellations or no-shows within 1 hour, our patient must pay 100% of the treatment price.
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