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Gastric Ballooning (Intragastric balloon)

Intragastric balloon or gastric balloon procedure involves placement of an inflatable balloon made of silicon inside the stomach with the help of an endoscope. The balloon is filled with 400-700 ml of clear fluid depending upon the stomach capacity and tolerability of the person. This produces a feeling of fullness and restricts food intake thereby leading to weight loss. It is reversible bariatric procedure and the balloon can be left inside the stomach for 6 months to one year after which it has to be removed.

Gastric Balloon Surgery


Q1. How much weight can you lose with a gastric balloon?

Gastric ballooning produces a variable weight loss effect ranging from 10-25 kgs and may be considered for people with mild to moderate obesity who are not yet candidates for bariatric surgery. Also, it can be offered for those wanting a temporary and reversible solution and those people unwilling/unfit for a surgical procedure.

Q2. What are the side effects of gastric balloon?

Gastric balloon is one of the safest weight loss procedures since it doesn’t involve any cutting or stapling of the GI tract. The side effects of gastric balloon include nausea and vomiting in the initial few days which gradually subsides by itself. There may be reflux symptoms, difficulty in swallowing and mild pain. Serious side effects include leakage of fluid from the balloon, distal migration, intestinal obstruction and in very rare instances perforation of the balloon.

Q3. How much does it cost to have a gastric balloon?

Gastric balloon cost depends upon the type of balloon being inserted and also on the institution and the treating doctor. The price for gastric balloon procedure generally varies between 1.5 - 2.0 lacs INR.

Q4. Does insurance cover gastric balloon surgery?

Insurance companies do not cover gastric ballooning and it is a self pay procedure. However, there are a number of finance companies which help to finance the procedure so that the payment can be done in small instalments over a period of time.

IntraGastric Balloon

Q5. What is the best non surgical weight loss?

Gastric balloon is the best and most effective non surgical weight loss procedure in today’s times. The person can lose approximately 15-20 kgs of weight over a period of 6-8 months. The newer generation balloons are adjustable which means that the amount of fluid inside the balloon can be increased or reduced and they can left inside the stomach for a period of one year which accounts for greater weight loss.

Q6. How long can you have a gastric balloon?

Traditionally, the gastric balloon was placed inside the stomach for a period of six months and removed thereafter. Nowadays, the newer generation balloons can be left in the stomach for a period of one year which accounts for the greater weight loss seen with these balloons.

Q7. How overweight do you have to be for gastric balloon?

A person who is overweight or having mild obesity (BMI between 25 and 30) and not able to lose weight by lifestyle modification are eligible candidates for gastric balloon procedure.

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