The Intragastric Balloon System is a non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical alternative for the treatment of obesity. The System is designed to provide short-term weight loss therapy to reduce health risks related to obesity or risks prior to vital surgery, or as part of a supervised weight loss program.
Endoscopically placed and inflated with saline, the System balloon (made of durable, elastic, high-quality silicone) partially fills the stomach to induce the feeling of fullness and support patients in reducing food intake and adopting new dietary habits. It is used in conjunction with a supervised diet and behavior modification program to help maintain weight loss over time after removal of the device, which can also be done endoscopically.
The intragastric balloon System is designed to make compliance with a supervised diet and behavior modification program easier. The balloon partially fills the stomach and patients report that they have a feeling of fullness.
The balloon is introduced into the stomach through the mouth without the need for surgery. The physician conducts an initial examination of the stomach using an endoscopic camera. If no abnormalities are observed, the physician proceeds with placement of the balloon through the mouth and down the esophagus into the stomach. The balloon is made of a soft and pliable silicone elastomer material and is inserted while in its smallest, deflated form.
The swallowing process is made easier with the help of anesthetics applied topically to numb the throat area. Muscle relaxing medications are also used. Once the balloon is inside the stomach, it is immediately filled with sterile saline through a small filling tube (catheter) attached to the balloon.
Once filled, the doctor removes the catheter by gently pulling on the external end. The balloon has a self-sealing valve, and at this point the balloon is floating freely in the stomach. Placement times vary but it will usually take 20-30 minutes, after which you will be monitored by the physician for a short time and then may return home.