What is a Swallowable Gastric Balloon?
"A swallowable gastric balloon is a newly developed treatment method that assists in weight loss by placing a capsule swallowed into your stomach, inflating it to form a balloon, all without the need for surgery, endoscopy, or anesthesia."
The next-generation gastric balloon, which is swallowed with water and soda and does not require endoscopy or anesthesia, creates a feeling of fullness by occupying space in the stomach. It promotes weight loss by reducing both stomach volume and the sensation of hunger, leading to a decrease in food consumption. The sense of fullness it creates helps prevent overeating and, as the stomach volume decreases, it also aids in reducing snack cravings. With these features, it is among the options that can be used for non-surgical obesity treatment in the appropriate patient group. The balloon is typically used in conjunction with diet and lifestyle changes. The balloon, which is swallowed without the need for endoscopy and anesthesia during a 15-minute visit with a physician, can be naturally expelled from the body after approximately 16 weeks. During this period, the goal is to maintain the patient's weight loss and improve diet and exercise habits.
Patients who have the balloon inserted are also provided with a smartwatch and a scale. Through these devices, our dietitians can monitor the patients' progress. Recommendations developed with artificial intelligence are sent to our patients' smartphone applications as notifications and are monitored by our team. Thanks to these features, the swallowable gastric balloon is not just an application but a 6-month weight loss program. The balloon should be considered as the initial step in this program, not the entirety of it.
The "Swallowable gastric balloon" can be applied to individuals of all ages, starting from the age of 16, according to the physician's decision. However, it is most beneficial for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) in the range of 27-35. The fact that anesthesia is not used during the procedure, which is completed very quickly, is especially important for individuals who do not want to undergo anesthesia or have contraindications for it.
Scientific studies have shown that patients typically lose around 10-15% of their total body weight after approximately 16 weeks.
Who Can Receive a Swallowable Gastric Balloon?
A swallowable gastric balloon can be applied to individuals who want to manage obesity, but candidates for this procedure must meet specific criteria. Here are some general criteria for the application of a swallowable gastric balloon:
Obesity: A swallowable gastric balloon is considered for individuals who want to manage obesity. It is typically applicable to individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) ranging from 27 to 40. BMI is a medical measure calculated by dividing a person's weight by the square of their height.
Failure of Other Treatment Methods: A swallowable gastric balloon may be considered when previous diet and exercise attempts or other weight loss methods have been unsuccessful.
Health Issues: Obesity is a condition that can lead to serious health problems. Therefore, those with health issues associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart disease, and joint problems, may consider a swallowable gastric balloon.
Motivation and Collaboration: The success of a swallowable gastric balloon depends not only on the placement of the device but also on the patient's willingness and motivation to collaborate with healthcare professionals for diet and lifestyle changes.
High Surgical Risks: Obesity surgery may be risky for some individuals. In such cases, a swallowable gastric balloon can be a good option.
The applicability of a swallowable gastric balloon may vary for each patient. Therefore, it is important to undergo a detailed evaluation with a healthcare professional and create a personalized treatment plan. Additionally, you should have a comprehensive understanding of the advantages and risks of the procedure and be fully informed before making a decision.
What Are the Benefits of a Swallowable Gastric Balloon for Patients?
A swallowable gastric balloon is a weight loss treatment option that can offer some advantages to suitable candidates. Here are some of the benefits of a swallowable gastric balloon:
Low Surgical Risk: A swallowable gastric balloon does not require surgery, so the risks associated with surgery are lower.
Aids in Sustainable Weight Control: The swallowable gastric balloon is a temporary device and is removed after a few months. The goal is to achieve weight loss during the program while also changing dietary and lifestyle habits. After the balloon is removed upon reaching weight loss goals, individuals can continue to maintain sustainable weight control through lifestyle changes.
Rapid Weight Loss: Patients typically experience rapid weight loss after the placement of a swallowable gastric balloon. This can boost motivation and serve as a driving force to initiate the weight loss process.
Patient Monitoring: Patients who receive a swallowable gastric balloon will be monitored throughout the program, including using smart scales and watches. They will also have monthly consultations with a dietitian for six months. Artificial intelligence-based applications will send notifications to patients' smartphones and provide diet and exercise recommendations. The swallowable gastric balloon is a component of a multidisciplinary weight loss program that lasts for six months rather than a surgical procedure.
Combination with Other Treatments: A swallowable gastric balloon can be combined with other weight loss methods such as diet, exercise, and behavioral therapy. This can increase the likelihood of achieving more effective weight loss results.
Aiding in the Improvement of Obesity-Related Health Issues: Even losing just 5% of your total body weight significantly reduces the risk of developing complications associated with obesity, such as diabetes and heart disease. Therefore, a swallowable gastric balloon can help improve or alleviate health issues associated with obesity, including controlling problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and heart disease.
What Should Be Done Before Swallowable Gastric Balloon Application?
There are several preparation and evaluation steps to be taken before the swallowable gastric balloon procedure. Here are the things to be done before the application of a swallowable gastric balloon:
Doctor's Evaluation: If you are considering a swallowable gastric balloon, you need to consult with a specialist experienced in obesity. The doctor will assess whether this treatment method is suitable for you. They will review your medical history, current health condition, and medications, and may request necessary tests to address any potential medical issues.
Diet and Lifestyle Counseling: Your doctor and expert dietitian can guide you on healthy diet and lifestyle changes that are crucial for the success of the swallowable gastric balloon procedure. This will help you maintain weight loss after treatment.
Medication Adjustment: If you are taking medications, some may need to be adjusted during or after the procedure. Your doctor will provide guidance on this. Your doctor will also give you detailed information about the swallowable gastric balloon procedure. Feel free to ask any questions about its advantages, risks, and how it will be performed.
Preparation Prescription: Before the swallowable gastric balloon procedure, the patient should fast for 8 hours before visiting the clinic. Medication treatment to reduce potential stomach discomfort after the procedure begins one week to 10 days before the procedure, and the balloon placement date is determined based on this schedule.
It is important to carefully follow your doctor's instructions before the swallowable gastric balloon procedure. Thorough preparation is essential for the success of the procedure.
Obesity Center Coordinator Phone: +90 534 227 16 21
Frequently Asked Questions About Swallowable Gastric Balloon:
A balloon placed in your stomach is applied by your doctor during an outpatient procedure that doesn't require hospitalization and takes about 15 minutes. In this procedure, a capsule containing the deflated balloon is swallowed. The balloon is attached through a long, thin tube. When the capsule reaches the stomach, the first X-ray is taken to confirm its correct position.
Your doctor then uses the thin tube to fill the balloon with a specialized solution and inflate it. A second X-ray is taken to confirm that the balloon is properly filled. Once the balloon reaches the desired level, the doctor removes the tube. The procedure is thus completed.
After the balloon is placed, the time to return to normal activities can vary from patient to patient. Most patients can typically resume their daily lives within two or three days. However, in some cases, symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, and rarely vomiting may be observed after the balloon placement. In such situations, your doctor may often recommend the use of commonly prescribed medications to alleviate these complaints.
It has been shown to be beneficial to pay attention to special dietary restrictions during the initial week of adjustment after the balloon placement. Your dietitian will guide you throughout the Swallowable Gastric Balloon Program. Recommendations to transition to healthy eating habits will be provided to you by the nutrition expert. You can set small goals and gradually change your habits. Over time, these small changes can make a significant difference in your health and help you maintain your weight loss.
Approximately 16 weeks later, the adjustable emptying valve on the balloon will open due to stomach acid, allowing the serum inside the balloon to drain. There will be no need for any medical intervention during this process. The deflated balloon will be naturally expelled during a bowel movement.
- The most significant advantage is that the balloon can be swallowed in a capsule form and placed in the stomach without the need for surgery, endoscopy, or anesthesia. There is no need for the patient to stay in the hospital, thanks to a 15-minute procedure.
- The balloon will naturally dissolve and be expelled from the body without the need for medical intervention after 16 weeks.
- The complication rate is very low
The cost of a swallowable gastric balloon procedure is determined on a case-by-case basis after a free initial assessment. Therefore, it is best to clarify this matter with your doctor after the preliminary consultation
In the first two to three days after the balloon placement, some individuals may experience symptoms like nausea. Therefore, the presence of the balloon can be felt during the initial phase. However, most of the time, patients quickly adapt to the balloon and may even forget that it's in their stomach. The decision to exercise is entirely up to the individual and is not a medical factor that negatively affects the weight loss process.
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