What is the balloon procedure for weight loss?

During an endoscopy, a silicon balloon holding between 500 and 700 ccs of saline is put in the stomach. The balloon stays in for six months and then it’s taken out. For the first three months the balloon is in place, patients lose a lot of weight—they feel full, their hunger is controlled and they feel heavy, like they’ve eaten a large meal. They are given specific dietary and exercise coaching to get their calories down, their activity up and they lose about 35 pounds on average. For the second three months, we work with them on consolidating those habits while they have the device in place—they don’t typically lose a lot more weight, but they get used to their changes in eating, their new meal techniques and incorporating them into their lifestyles. We focus on things like eating healthily at work when you are busy. At six months, we take the balloon out and continue to work with the patient to see what kind of person they are going to be—will they keep the weight off or not? The balloon procedure is a procedure where you lose approximately 35 pounds, not 100 pounds, so it’s really geared for people that are 50 to 75 pounds overweight.

The balloon procedure for weight loss involves placing two connected balloons in the stomach. The doctor fills the balloons with saline during an endoscopy. This causes you to feel full. People tend to lose a significant amount of weight after this procedure. The balloons are typically removed after 6 to 12 months. The procedure needs to be used along with a diet and exercise plan.

Balloon procedures have been around for a few decades. Some significant improvements have been made in the design and safety of the balloons.

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