Also called an intragastric balloon, the weight loss balloon is a novel approach to weight loss procedures that uses an inflatable balloon device inserted into the stomach to help patients feel fuller and consume less food and calories, resulting in weight loss. Intragastric balloons require no surgery for placement, making them an increasingly popular option for patients who are concerned about the risks associated with weight-loss surgeries. As the balloon expands, it fills a portion of the stomach so less food needs to be consumed in order to feel full.
The weight loss balloon can be a great option for many patients, but it's not always the best choice. As with other types of weight-loss procedures, a physical exam and consultation appointment will help determine the best type of procedure for each patient based on their health conditions, weight-loss objectives and other criteria. Generally speaking, the weight loss balloon can be a good option for patients who have a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 40 and who are willing to be closely supervised by the doctor to ensure they achieve the best possible results and stay on track with their program.
The weight loss balloon requires no surgery and no general anesthesia. Instead, patients are sedated and the balloon is placed inside the stomach using a special instrument called an endoscope. An endoscope is a long, thin device that uses a camera to see inside the stomach. The scope can also be used to perform simple procedures like intragastric balloon placement. The balloon is composed of silicone, and once in place, it will be filled with sterile saline solution so it rests comfortably in the stomach cavity. The entire procedure typically takes less than 30 minutes to perform.
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