Gastric Balloon

Everything You Should Know About Gastric Balloon

Gastric balloon is a method of achieving weight loss that does not require surgical modification of the digestive tract. Gastric balloons have been around for many years and are used in every corner of the developed world. The concept of the gastric balloon is simple: reduce the amount of available space in the stomach so that the patient is simply unable to eat as much as they used to.

The Procedure

As you may have deduced from the above introduction this is not intended to be a permanent feature within the patient’s body. Instead, it is intended to help the patient lose weight while also building healthy eating habits that they will lean on once the balloon is removed. That said, let’s take a look at the gastric balloon procedure itself so that you have a better idea of exactly what is involved when you’re making your decision about which weight loss procedure may be right for you.

The Patient is Sedated

The patient will be fully sedated during the procedure. While this may seem unusual for a non-surgical procedure it is done in order to minimize the possibility that the patient may move while the balloon is being inserted. It’s crucial to insure the device is properly inserted and positioned and general anaesthesia provides the best chance for doing so.

Upper Endoscopy is Performed

It is important to rule out the possibility that the patient may be suffering from ulcers, gastritis, esophagitis, significant hiatal hernia, evidence of prior gastric surgery or other conditions that could make the procedure inadvisable before proceeding. Therefore an upper endoscopy is performed. In the vast majority of cases no disqualifying conditions are found.

Balloon is Inserted

A deflated balloon is inserted by way of the mouth into the stomach. An endoscope is used by the surgeon to guide the deflated balloon into its proper place. The balloon is pushed using what is called an insertion catheter connected to a guide wire inside the deflated balloon. Once the surgeon can see that the balloon is in place beyond the gastroesophageal junction the guide wire is removed.  

The Balloon is Filled

After the guide wire is removed the balloon is filled with a saline solution In most cases between 500 and 700 mL are injected either using a specially designed syringe or endoscopic pump. The entire procedure is supervised by the surgeon in real time via a video image delivered via the endoscope. Once the surgeon is satisfied the balloon has been properly filled the catheter, any device used to perform the filling and the endoscope are removed.

Once the balloon is properly inserted and filled it is usually left in place for anywhere for up to 1 year. At the conclusion of which time you will need to return to the clinic for removal, which is an equally simple and straightforward procedure. While all medical procedures carry some risk, no matter how remote, the gastric balloon insertion procedure has a high degree of success and is known to produce few if any serious complications. Also, you do not usually require an overnight stay and can return home the same day.

Potential Side Effects

Because of the unusual nature of the procedure (and perhaps because many people are sceptical that something so effective could be so simple) people often express concerns about potential side effects from having a foreign object inserted into their stomach in such a way. However, any such fears are largely unfounded. The fact is that any side effects or gastric balloon complications are typically short-lived and only in the rarest of occasions will corrective intervention be called for.

That said it’s not uncommon for patients to go through a period of feeling nauseous in the immediate aftermath of gastric balloon surgery. This is almost always a self-limiting phenomenon and should pass in fairly short order. A slightly more severe side effect is vomiting. In most cases this too passes relatively quickly, although if it doesn’t the patient may prescribed an antiemetic to bring the situation under control and prevent dehydration.

While nausea and vomiting are the most commonly reported side effects of the procedure they are not the only ones. Less frequently reported side effects include abdominal cramps, gastric discomfort, a bloated feeling, frequent belching, diarrhoea, sore throat, hiccups, constipation and vitamin deficiencies.

In rare cases patients may develop esophagitis or experience gastric perforation or the formation of gastric ulcers. In an even smaller number of cases the device may become deflated and partially slip into the intestine. One possible consequence of this happening is bowel obstruction which would in all likelihood require a surgical response.

Gastric Balloon Price

Gastric Balloon 12 month package £ 2 440.
What’s included in the package – read here.

If you are in the process of considering your options as far as weight loss procedures go one factor that may influence your decision is gastric balloon surgery cost. In some cities in Western Europe it can actually cost more than some invasive procedures like gastric bypass. And in fact cheap gastric balloon in the UK is something you can forget about. However, if you trust the highly experienced team at Weight Loss Riga to perform your procedure you’ll pay a fraction of the gastric balloon UK cost. If you are still on the fence about undergoing the procedure however perhaps it would help to think about it this way:

How much have you spent on the health club in an effort to lose weight?

Before coming to us for their balloon procedure many individuals spend long years at the health club attempting to burn the weight off by way of aerobics classes or spinning. Unfortunately, these types of activities are typically of little use for people who are seriously overweight. And in fact they may even be dangerous in that they may put excessive strain on a heart already struggling with the excess body mass.

The cost of gastric balloon is cheaper in the long run than Weight Watchers

While Weight Watchers has undoubtedly helped untold numbers of people lose weight the fact is the overall success rate is only a fraction that of the balloon and the weekly fee to attend meetings in the UK can add up to more in one year than the cost of undergoing the balloon procedure at Weight Loss Riga.

In most cases overweight individuals spend enormous amounts of money on food, exercise equipment, health club fees, fad diets and more all in an effort to rid themselves of their excess weight. It can be a vicious cycle of raised hopes and disappointments. Whereas in the vast majority of cases cheap gastric balloon is money well spent. Below is a comparison of gastric balloon costs in various European cities.

How much does it cost for a gastric balloon in various European cities?

Note: The prices above for cities other than Riga are averages based on research into current prices for the balloon in those cities at the time of this writing. It’s possible the specific hospital or clinic you contact in those cities may quote you a price that is slightly higher or lower than what you see here.

Why You Should Have the Procedure in Riga

When most people think of technologically advanced European cities they typically think of places like London, Berlin, perhaps even Helsinki. What they don’t often think of is Riga. But they should. Riga is actually one of the most technologically advanced cities on the continent with a highly educated and motivated population and boasts some of the most modern, efficient and effective hospitals and clinics you’ll find anywhere. Weight Loss Riga is a perfect example: a leading edge medical facility with highly trained surgeons and a medical support staff that is second to none. From the moment you first speak to our UK patient coordinator you’ll understand why thousands of people have chosen to undergo their weight loss procedures at Weight Loss Riga.

The city of Riga itself is hidden treasure with more than 800 years of history, a dazzling city centre featuring Art Nouveau buildings mingling with one of a kind Jugendstil architectural gems and one of the busiest ports in Northern Europe. 2.5 million visitors a year make their way to Riga by plane, train and cruise ship and leave with a greater appreciation for the country, the city and its people. When you choose Weight Loss Riga for your procedure you can leave your London home in the morning, have the procedure at mid-day and be back in London in the evening to sleep in your own bed.

About the Clinic

Weight Loss Riga is conveniently located in the Latvian capital just 2.5 hours by air from Heathrow. But that’s just one of the many reasons for coming to our clinic rather than having gastric balloon in the UK. Others include:

  • World class surgeons – Our principle surgeons have studied and trained at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in Europe. They’ve conducted thousands of weight loss procedures and are widely recognized for their expertise.
  • First class support staff – You’ll notice the difference in the level of care you receive from our expertly trained multi-lingual support staff the second you walk in the door. You’ll be treated with respect and care at every step of the process and won’t have to struggle to find someone who speaks English.
  • A sparkling state of the art facility – All of our patient rooms and operating theatres are meticulously maintained and feature the latest in diagnostic and surgical equipment. We go to great lengths to ensure you benefit from the latest in medical technology.
  • Comfort and convenience – Weight Loss Riga is located in the city centre just minutes from Riga International Airport. You’ll find that we put an emphasis on patient comfort and attend to your every need.
  • Gastric balloon prices UK – It’s incredibly expensive to do anything in the British capital, including run a health clinic. As such gastric balloon surgery cost in the UK is beyond the reach of many. Riga, by comparison, is a much more affordable place to live and work and as such we’re able to offer some of the most attractive prices for weight loss procedures you’ll find anywhere.
  • No waiting – While no one will argue with the quality of healthcare in the UK the waiting times leave a lot to be desired. For some operations you may have to wait a year or more. Contrast that to Weight Loss Riga where you can have your procedure just days after contacting our UK patient coordinator.

Knowing all that about Riga, about gastric balloon surgery prices in the UK and about our clinic the question then changes from “Why should I have my weight loss procedure in Riga?” to “Why would I have my weight loss procedure anywhere else?”

How Effective is Gastric Balloon?

The endoscopic balloon has been around for more than 30 years. In the earliest days of its existence it was an air filled device made of polyurethane that had the unfortunate habit of generating complications. As such the air filled gastric balloon quickly fell out of favour with both the public and public health authorities. Undaunted, medical researchers went back to the drawing board and devised a silicone balloon that would be filled with saline added through a self-sealing valve. The newly redesigned balloon was a hit and has remained virtually the same ever since, with only minor tweaks to the apparatus and the procedure along the way.

Today the procedure is conducted on an outpatient basis and typically takes less than half an hour. The new balloon design is reliable and effective and a favourite among those who wish to avoid having their digestive tract surgically rearranged.

Gastric Balloon Success Rate

There have been any number of studies tasked with determining the effectiveness of the procedure and all have confirmed that it is both safe and effective. A Brazilian study that looked at 3,000 obese or overweight individuals with BMIs ranging from 27 to 35 who underwent the procedure concluded that balloon implantation is a “valid endoscopic therapeutic option for weight loss.” In yet another oft-cited study 125 obese patients received this type of balloon and another 113 received only behavioural modification instruction and guidance. All participants were followed for a full year with the balloon patients having the devices removed after 6 months.

At the end of the year it was found that members of the balloon group lost substantially more weight than members of the control group who only received behavioural modification instruction. They were also able to keep the lost weight off better than members of the control group who experienced more persistent back-sliding into old eating behaviours. In fact members of the balloon group lost nearly twice as much weight and experienced a greater reduction in comorbid conditions including hypertension and diabetes.

These are just 2 examples out of the dozens of studies large and small that have been conducted over the years that answer the question “does the gastric balloon work?”. They have all concluded that the procedure is both safe and effective while also being fully reversible. While side effects can and sometimes do occur serious side effects are exceedingly rare.

5 Reasons to Consider This Safe Effective Alternative to Bariatric Surgery

  • Improved appearance – As a wealth of scientific evidence has shown gastric balloon weight loss is predictable and can be substantial. As such there’s little doubt you will feel more confident about your own appearance than you probably have in years. In addition the new eating habits you develop while the balloon is in place will hold you in good stead once the balloon is removed so you’ll stand an excellent chance of keeping the weight off and retaining your new profile.
  • Better overall health – As studies have shown comorbidities associated with being obese often right themselves once you lose a significant amount of weight following the procedure. As a result you’ll experience a higher degree of overall health, will likely spend less time at the doctor’s office and will be more active and alert.
  • Increased energy levels – Most obese individuals have little or no idea how much energy they’re expending on a daily basis carrying around all their excess weight. Once freed of this burden most are shocked at the amount of energy that is then available for other things whether exercise, playing with the kids, outdoor activities or their job.
  • Longer life expectancy – It’s a fact that obesity shortens life expectancy. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US now estimates that obese individuals can expect to live 14 years less on average than normal weight individuals. Think about that for a moment next time you’re wondering whether a weight loss procedure might be in your best interest.
  • Healthier habits – This is not a stand-alone procedure. During the time the balloon is in place you will be compelled to modify your eating habits to accommodate your reduced appetite and reduced capacity. Ideally you will make these new eating habits part of your daily routine after the balloon is removed so that the weight stays off.

Yes, gastric balloon prices abroad are a fraction of what they are in London but as you can see that’s not the only reason you’ll want to consider this safe, quick and effective procedure.

Am I a Good Candidate?

While many individuals appreciate that the cost of gastric balloon abroad is substantially less than the gastric balloon cost in the UK many still have questions about whether or not they would be a good candidate for this procedure. Because the treatment is non-surgical the percentage of individuals who would be considered poor candidates is actually extremely low. Another thing to consider is that the threshold for this type of procedure is not as strict as it is for some types of bariatric surgery. In fact many individuals who undergo the procedure are looking to lose 30-50 pounds rather than hundreds of pounds.

In addition, if you have tried other weight loss techniques such as dieting and exercise and found little or no success an intra-gastric balloon may be just the thing. The best course of action is to call our UK patient coordinator and explain your situation to her. She’ll discuss your weight loss goals with you and help you determine whether or not a balloon may be of benefit to you and how you can go about scheduling the procedure at Weight Loss Riga.

What is the Recovery Process Like?

Unlike full-on bariatric surgery the balloon is non-surgical and so recovery is not such an intensive experience. That said you have still had a rather large foreign object inserted into your stomach and so there is going to be an adjustment period and there is no way around that. In order to minimize disruptions to your life and make the post-procedural transition as smooth as possible it’s important to follow the recommendations of the medical support team. The following represents what the average recipient of a weight loss gastric balloon can expect by way of recovery.

Immediate Aftermath

Most of the actual gastric balloon recovery time occurs in the immediate aftermath of the procedure. Because there are no stitches or staples to consider and no internal or external wounds that need time to heal properly your primary recovery concern will be simply getting used to having this foreign object in your stomach all the time. You could equate the process with that of having to wear a cast after breaking a bone. At first it will seem cumbersome and awkward but in time moving about with it will become second nature. Nausea and possibly vomiting will be the 2 major gastric balloon problems you may have to deal with in the aftermath of the procedure. But those too should pass in fairly short order.

Post gastric balloon diet

Your post gastric balloon diet plan will not require any major changes to your normal diet. In fact your diet after gastric balloon will likely bear a striking resemblance to your diet before you had the procedure but with a shift away from junk food or other unhealthy choices that may have been staples of your pre-balloon life. As such your diet plan after gastric balloon will predominantly entail getting used to eating less and eating healthier. Our expert support staff will answer all your questions regarding dietary adjustments you may want to undertake.

Long Term Recovery

During the period after you’ve adjusted to the presence of the balloon your recovery will be a very straightforward affair. There are few if any hard and fast restrictions on what you can eat, no internal healing to worry about and no risk that you’ll be burdened with an infection. However there are a couple of things you’ll want to be mindful of during the duration of time the balloon is in place.

  • Blue or green urine – The saline that is injected into your balloon is coloured either blue or green. This is not for aesthetic purposes but intended as a kind of early warning system that alerts you if the balloon has become punctured. Such an occurrence is extremely rare but it is possible. If the balloon does wind up rupturing the coloured dye will leak into your stomach then pass out of your system as blue or green pee. Should you notice coloured urine be sure to contact your doctor immediately.
  • A high degree of discomfort – If after a couple of weeks with the balloon in place you are experiencing extreme discomfort or are still vomiting regularly you should contact Weight Loss Riga. Gastric balloon side effects such as discomfort, nausea and vomiting should subside after only a few days. If those symptoms persist you’ll want to bring it to the attention of your doctor.

Life After the Procedure and Gastric Balloon Reviews

After a period of 1 year the balloon will be removed. For most people their gastric balloon before and after pictures are a vivid reminder of how successful the process has been for them. Most are also able to retain the weight loss that resulted from having the balloon in place because, as mentioned above, they were able to build new eating habits as a result of undergoing gastric balloon for weight loss.

Gastric Balloon Testimonials

May-Lisbeth

I’ve always struggled with a few too many kilos, but I’ve also exercised a lot, so it has not been a major problem for my health. This changed when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and depression. I gained quite a few kilos where were impossible to get rid of. I was also quite inactive. I contacted Romiel after I read an ad on the Internet. The Surgeons suggested that a gastric balloon would be the right treatment for me. I know Latvia pretty well and was not afraid to receive health care in this country. I experienced a first rate service at the hospital and the surgeon and medical staff were very capable and accommodating. I felt confident throughout the process. The surgery was performed in May 2014 and after the procedure, I began to lose weight quickly. I lost 18 kilos in total. Simultaneously with the reduction in weight, I started exercising more and my health has improved… Now I enjoy being able to exercise and participate in different races and am able to stay in good health. My mood is much better and life in general is clearly lighter.

Although cheap gastric balloon surgery is both possible and effective and gastric balloon surgery reviews are all well and good it’s important to remember that the insertion of a balloon is not an end unto itself and it is not a diet per se. What it is is an effective and affordable tool to kickstart your weight loss efforts that should enable you to lose weight while building new habits and attitudes regarding food. So just to be clear: the balloon itself will enable you to take off the weight but whether or not you become one of the many gastric balloon success stories after the balloon is removed is up to you.

Conclusion

Considering the cost of gastric balloon in the UK having gastric balloon surgery abroad is a recipe for success that will save you considerable time and money. The gastric balloon weight loss procedure is one that has been performed innumerable times over the past 3 decades and although it is often overshadowed by other weight loss procedures like gastric sleeve surgery and the like it remains a popular choice for those disinclined to more intensive surgical approaches. It is also the preferred weight loss procedure for many people who are overweight but not necessarily obese and have had a difficult time losing weight in the past using more traditional methods. Keep in mind too that gastric balloon risks are minimal, that gastric balloon side effects are almost always easily managed and that recovery from this procedure is usually accomplished in a matter of days and not weeks or months.

Gastric balloon is a procedure that can make the difference between a lifetime spent struggling to reduce one’s weight and a life spent actively pursuing one’s dreams. Give our UK patient coordinator a call today on 02070971772 and find out more about the non surgical gastric balloon weight loss option.