- 27 Sep 2021 6:27 PM
Obesity, which has become a common condition in recent years, is a growing problem both in Hungary and in Europe. The number of overweight and obese people has increased dramatically in the last three decades.
According to the latest surveys, 40% of Hungarian men are overweight and 32% are obese, and the situation is only slightly better for women, with 32% overweight and 32% obese. More than an aesthetic problem, obesity is a health-threatening condition that can lead to poor performance and multiply the risk of serious chronic diseases (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer).
There are countless options for those who want to lose weight, one of which is gastric balloon therapy, a well-applied solution via a minimally invasive endoscopic intervention.
For whom do we recommend gastric balloon therapy?
Gastric balloon therapy is recommended for our 18–65-year-old patients who have a body mass index between 27-40 and are looking for a non-surgical solution to lose weight. You can calculate your body mass index using the BMI calculator link in this article.
What is gastric balloon therapy?
Gastric balloon therapy is a weight loss procedure that forms a transition between traditional dietary and various medicated appetite suppression methods and gastric-narrowing surgical solutions (e.g., gastric ring).
During the non-surgical procedure, a gastric balloon is placed in the stomach, which impedes food intake, thus accustoming the patient to consuming small doses at given intervals. Thanks to gastric balloon therapy, the realistically expected weekly weight loss is 0.5-1 kg. The rate of weight loss can vary depending on personal circumstances and adherence to medical prescriptions, and weight loss of up to 30-40 kg can be achieved in 12 months.
How does gastric ballon therapy work?
The gastric balloon is an elastic, spherical ’container’ that is placed in the stomach, filling a significant portion of it, thus providing a feeling of fullness. The balloon material does not cause any damage to the internal organs.
The gastric balloon is filled with colored physiological saline, which moves freely in the stomach, preventing the intake of food as a foreign body, thus accustoming the patient to a moderate diet. It is also important to highlight the psychological effect of the balloon, as it is always ’present’ in the patient's life, supporting the weight loss process, consuming smaller doses and providing a feeling of fullness.
Insertion of the gastric balloon is performed by our professionally recognized specialists with extensive experience, hence the procedure involves minimal risk.
What you need to know about the gastric balloon used at Dr. Rose Private Hospital?
The Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon we use is the only gastric balloon whose size can be changed as required. Months after insertion, the stomach may adapt to the changed conditions, the feeling of fullness caused by the balloon may decrease, and the rate of weight loss may slow down. In this case, by filling the balloon, the process can be readjusted, and the rate of weight loss can be sustained.
What happens before inserting a gastric balloon?
At the first consultation, our gastroenterologist will examine you and discuss the essence of the intervention and their expectations regarding the diet procedure, and if therapy is recommended, we will take further steps to see if there is a health problem that may affect a gastric balloon insertion and its effectiveness.
Preoperative diagnostic examinations include general lab tests, thyroid hormone levels, Se cortisol levels, exercise blood glucose and insulin tests, a Helicobacter Ag test, 12-lead ECG, chest x-ray, and abdominal ultrasound.
Following diagnostic tests, an InBody body composition measurement is performed, which gives an immediate picture of the skeletal muscles, body fat and water percentages and bone mineral contents, as well as their ratio, and the extent of overweight and obesity.
With the results, our endocrinologist will perform a further survey. During the meeting, the pre-prepared lab test results will be evaluated, and if they show any discrepancies, our specialist will recommend medication to adjust the balance of values, helping to initiate weight loss.
In addition to exploring the physical causes of obesity, it is also important to examine the mental background for successful weight loss, with the help of our psychiatrist. They will discuss the most important issues related to the process, and the appropriate internal motivations necessary to start gastric balloon therapy.
Lifestyle change is one of the most important elements for the success of the therapy. Our dietitian will explain in detail what lifestyle changes you need to make following the procedure, and teach you how to prepare the right diet, and illustrate how you can achieve the most effective results.
The last stop before the procedure is an anesthesiologist consultation. The anesthesiologist reviews your medical history and the results of previous findings and tests, provides information on the course of the brief anesthesia and decides on the feasibility of the intervention.
How should we prepare for the day of the intervention?
Our gastroenterologist prescribes the use of gastric protection tablets for a minimum of 1 week prior to balloon implantation, which will help maintain a suitable gastric environment throughout therapy. Successful balloon placement and removal require adherence to the criteria for food and fluid intake provided by the anesthesiologist.
Procedure for the intervention
Gastric balloon insertion and removal occurs under a brief anesthesia via an endoscopic procedure, so that the intervention involves minimal strain on the body. Changing the fluid content of the resizable gastric balloon occurs in the same way. The specialist uses an endoscope to insert the balloon into the stomach, then fills it with colored physiological saline.
The amount of fluid placed in the gastric balloon is 400-800 ml, depending on individual characteristics and the type of gastric balloon used. The gastric balloon is removed after 1 year. When removing the gastric balloon, the doctor first pierces the gastric balloon using a catheter guided by the endoscope, then aspirates the filling fluid and removes the deflated gastric balloon through the esophagus.
What happens after implantation of the gastric balloon?
For complete safety, our patients spend 1 night in our inpatient ward after implantation. During the stay, we use intravenous infusion to reduce any possible unpleasant symptoms. For a few days, you may experience discomfort, nausea or queasiness, which will pass once you get used to the balloon. It is important to keep drinking fluids and taking the antacid medication for the quickest possible regeneration.
In addition to the use of the gastric balloon, any food and drink can be consumed, but adherence to the diet recommended by the specialist is essential for safe weight loss. In addition to the main goal of weight loss, the goal of our therapy is to achieve long-term changes in diet and lifestyle.
An integral part of lifestyle changes is the integration of movement into everyday life, which our physiotherapist will help with by showing you a series of exercises that can be performed according to your body weight.
After inserting the gastric balloon, our qualified staff will contact you at specified intervals to discuss the extent of your weight loss and the success of the changes, and should you have any questions we will put you in touch with our specialists, who will be at your disposal throughout the whole therapy.
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