Orbera gastric balloon

Orbera® gastric balloon helps obese people lose weight

The Orbera® gastric balloon is a surgical technique that allows people suffering from obesity to lose weight while teaching them to eat better and adopt a healthier lifestyle. 

Intragastric balloon indications

The Orbera® intragastric balloon is for people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 27 or higher who suffer from obesity.

It is undeniable that diets alone rarely change long-term eating habits. Many people then find themselves in a cycle of weight loss and weight gain, going from one failed diet to another, experiencing the famous yo-yo effect. Others resort to weight-loss drugs or appetite suppressants, options that are difficult to tolerate in the long term because of their side effects.

The gastric balloon is then an aid to help lose a large number of kilos.

Liposuccion du ventre | Belly Liposuction | Orbera®

The process of the intervention

The operation is performed under local anaesthesia on an outpatient basis. The intra-gastric balloon is inserted and removed during an endoscopic procedure that lasts twenty to thirty minutes.

Placement of the gastric balloon

The deflated balloon is attached to a flexible tube and then inserted through the mouth with an endoscope to the stomach. Once the balloon is in place, a physiological solution (salt water) is injected through a small tube. When the tube is removed, the balloon is automatically sealed. The filling volume varies from 400 to 700 ml to fit a large number of people.

A blue dye is added to the physiological solution which is injected into the balloon. Thus, in the rare event that the balloon leaks, the patient notices it immediately when the colour of his urine changes. If this happens, the patient should contact the doctor immediately so that the balloon can be safely removed.

The balloon is placed in the stomach for up to six months. The nutritionist provides dietary advice and support to help the patient make dietary changes and lifestyle adjustments.

Removing the balloon from the stomach

Using an endoscope and a small tube, the doctor removes the physiological solution from the balloon before extracting the deflated balloon from the stomach.

Following the intervention

The patient rests for one to two hours for observation before leaving the clinic.

During the first few days, while the stomach adjusts to the balloon, the patient has a feeling of discomfort. Nausea, bloating, diarrhea and cramps may occur. These side effects are temporary and normal. If necessary, the doctor will prescribe an appropriate medication to control them better.

It is advisable to rest and not engage in any physical activity for 24 hours.

There is then a nutritional follow-up for six months. The first steps: drink cold liquids in small quantities, starting with a teaspoon, then slowly increase the amount of liquid.

Week 1: Fluids-only diet

The first few days are uncomfortable because the stomach has to get used to the presence of the balloon. The total consumption of liquids (water, fruit juice, clear soups, milk, etc.) should be more than 2 litres per day. The patient may use a meal replacement for a week to help meet daily calorie and protein requirements.

Week 2: pureed, soft and solid foods

The stomach is beginning to adjust to its new size. The transition from pureed food to solid food takes about a week, but progress is only made if the body tolerates the food in the next stage well.

  • Pureed food for three days: Once the stomach is adapted to liquids, the patient can begin to introduce pureed food into meals.
  • Soft foods for four days: This step prepares the patient to return to solid foods. It is advisable to eat slowly and chew the food assiduously, and to choose foods that are low in fat, calories and carbohydrates.
  • Solid foods: This is the end of the dietary transition. The patient has resumed normal activities and has begun to regain appetite for a healthy, lasting weight loss. He or she returns to solid foods one after the other. He should drink plenty of water and avoid drinking and eating at the same time. It is recommended to drink at least one glass of water ½ hour before each meal and two glasses of water ½ hour afterwards, in order to rinse the balloon ;
  • For the next six months: The patient must follow a diet to monitor his weight evolution.

The results

Patients can expect a significant weight loss of 15 to 20 kilos during the six months of gastric balloon placement. Sustained success depends on the patient’s commitment to healthy eating, portion size reduction and an active lifestyle. Patients find it easier to maintain weight loss for a longer period of time compared to dieting alone.

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