Intragastric balloon (IGB) is a non-surgical weight loss procedure that involves inserting a soft silicone balloon into the stomach to reduce its capacity and create a feeling of fullness with smaller meals.
During the procedure, a deflated balloon is inserted into the stomach through the mouth using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a camera on the end. Once the balloon is in place, it is filled with sterile saline solution to expand it to the desired size. The procedure typically takes about 30 minutes and is performed under sedation or general anesthesia.
The intragastric balloon remains in place for up to six months and is then removed using the same endoscope procedure. During this time, patients typically lose an average of 15 to 20 percent of their excess body weight.
IGB is typically recommended for individuals with a BMI of 30 to 40 who have not been able to achieve weight loss through diet and exercise alone, and who are not candidates for or do not want to undergo surgery. It is considered to be a less invasive option than weight loss surgery, and carries a lower risk of complications.
However, there are still risks associated with IGB, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and balloon deflation or rupture. It is important to follow a strict diet and exercise plan during the time the balloon is in place, and to be monitored closely by a healthcare provider.
As with any weight loss procedure, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of IGB with a qualified healthcare provider before making a decision. It is also important to follow a balanced diet and exercise program after the balloon is removed in order to achieve and maintain weight loss.