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MEDICAL EVIDENCE

Gastric Baloon

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Weight Loss Procedures: 

The prevalence of obesity is an escalating medical concern, particularly in highly developed nations. It has emerged as a pressing challenge in 21st century medicine, leading to and associated with various health issues such as asthma, osteoarthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure, sleep apnea, among others. Additionally, carrying excess weight can heighten the likelihood of developing heart or blood diseases and reduce life expectancy. There are several approaches to address this medical problem. Determining whether one is overweight can be accomplished by computing their Body Mass Index (BMI), a widely used method. It calculates body fat based on an individual's height and weight and is applicable to both males and females aged between 18 and 65 years.

Gastric Ballon - A gastric balloon is a soft, expandable silicone balloon that is inserted into the stomach to facilitate weight loss. Its purpose is to promote better portion control and manage hunger. The procedure to implant the balloon is simple and brief, and depending on the type of balloon used, it remains in the stomach for either six or twelve months. By occupying a portion of the stomach, the balloon can aid in the development of healthier eating habits and better food portion control. Removal of the balloon is done in a similar manner as insertion. To achieve optimal treatment results, it is advisable to adhere to a diet and exercise plan both during the period the balloon is present in the stomach and after its removal.

Who is eligible for this treatment?
Individuals aged between 18 and 60, with a BMI of at least 27, who are willing to modify their eating habits may qualify for this treatment. Patients who are moderately overweight and have not been successful in achieving their desired weight loss through conventional weight loss techniques, such as diet and exercise, may also qualify. This treatment may be an option for those who are uncomfortable with or ineligible for other weight loss surgeries and seeking to lose between 5 and 30 kg (11 and 66 lbs). Candidates must also be in generally good health, with blood test, ECG, and digestive tract endoscopy results within the normal range.

A face-to-face consultation with a doctor and a nutritionist is also required.

Information about the Procedure:
This non-surgical procedure is simple and typically performed under IV sedation. Alternatively, patients who are not eligible for sedation may receive local anesthetics (throat numbing spray). The fully qualified and experienced surgeon inserts a special tube through the mouth to place the deflated balloon into the stomach. Once in place, the balloon is filled with sterile saline until it is too large to pass through the stomach. The balloon remains freely floating in the stomach for up to six or twelve months, after which it is removed in the same way it was inserted. During the period that the balloon is present in the stomach, patients work on developing healthier eating habits and lifestyle changes.

Refer to hospital and hospital stay: 

Upon admission, diagnostic tests and consultations will be carried out to prepare for the medical intervention. The procedure will be performed on the second day of hospitalization, and postoperative observation will necessitate an overnight stay. The duration of hospitalization will be contingent on your postoperative condition, with discharge scheduled on either the morning of the third or fourth day. During your hospital stay, comfortable accommodations will be provided in the patient recovery rooms, and a team of medical professionals, including a nurse and physician, will attend to you. Intravenous drips will be administered to maintain hydration and nourishment. Prior to discharge, a final evaluation will be conducted, which may involve the presence of an adult companion, before departing the premises.

Contradindications:

Individuals with blood coagulation disorders, gastric ulcer, heart, liver, or lung diseases, a history of gastrointestinal surgery, any inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract, potential upper gastrointestinal bleeding or other congenital anomalies, large hiatal hernia or other structural abnormalities in the esophagus or larynx, drug or alcohol addiction, pregnancy or breastfeeding, psychological disorders, or those unwilling to adopt the dietary habits and behavior changes necessary for the success of the therapy are advised against undergoing the procedure.

Possible Complications:

Symptoms such as nausea, stomach ache, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, or pain may arise after the balloon implantation and may last from one day up to several weeks, typically lasting only a few days in most patients. A detailed description of potential complications is provided in the "Useful Files" section below. The risks include those associated with an endoscopic procedure, medications and methods utilized, and foreign object insertion in the stomach. Complications may include bowel obstruction, insufficient or no weight loss, adverse health effects due to weight loss, stomach discomfort, persistent nausea and vomiting, premature balloon removal, abdominal or back pain, acid reflux, impaired food digestion, blockage of food entering the stomach, bacterial growth leading to infection, injury to the digestive tract lining, stomach or esophagus, and balloon deflation. To obtain complete safety information, please consult your physician.

Post-operative Guidelines: Post-operative care will involve prescribed medication, dietary modifications, and exercise, with specific details provided by the physician after the procedure.

Common Questions 

  • What is the difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist?
    Dietitians specialize in providing dietary advice to treat various diet-related diseases and medical conditions, including medically managed weight loss. Nutritionists work primarily in the community, but they also contribute to laboratories, food manufacturing, private clinics, sports clubs, and gyms to promote healthy living through diet and nutrition. The Irish law protects the profession of "Dietitian," requiring that individuals register with the national health regulator, CORU. In contrast, the term "Nutritionist" is not protected, leading to the possibility of anyone labeling themselves as a Nutritionist. Therefore, it is important to be cautious when selecting a Nutritionist. Spectrum Health Dietitians, who partner with the Medical Weight Management Clinic, hold either a degree or master's degree in Dietetics and all dieticians are registered with CORU and the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI), the professional body for Dietitians in Ireland.
  • What are some healthy food options that can help manage obesity?
    Incorporating high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your diet can help manage obesity. Reducing or eliminating processed and high-calorie foods like sugary drinks, fried foods, and snacks can also be beneficial.
  • How much water should I be drinking to help manage obesity?
    Drinking at least 8 cups of water per day can help manage obesity by reducing hunger and promoting feelings of fullness. Water can also help flush toxins out of the body and improve digestion.
  • Is it necessary to cut out all fats from my diet to manage obesity?
    No, it is not necessary to cut out all fats from your diet to manage obesity. Consuming healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish in moderation can actually be beneficial for weight management and overall health. However, it is important to limit or avoid unhealthy fats like saturated and trans fats found in processed foods.
  • Can tracking my food intake help manage obesity?
    Yes, tracking your food intake can help manage obesity by increasing awareness of calorie intake and identifying areas where adjustments can be made. There are many apps and websites that can help track food intake and monitor progress towards weight loss goals.

Benefits 

A gastric balloon, also known as an intragastric balloon, is a non-surgical weight loss procedure that involves inserting a deflated silicone balloon into the stomach through the mouth, which is then filled with saline solution. The balloon takes up space in the stomach, making the patient feel full more quickly and reducing their appetite.

Here are some potential benefits of the gastric balloon procedure:

  1. Effective weight loss: A gastric balloon can help patients lose a significant amount of weight without the need for surgery. On average, patients lose 25-30% of their excess weight within six months of having the balloon inserted.

  2. Non-surgical: Unlike bariatric surgeries, such as gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, the gastric balloon procedure is non-surgical and does not require any incisions or general anesthesia. This means it has fewer risks and a shorter recovery time.

  3. Short procedure time: The procedure to insert the gastric balloon usually takes less than 30 minutes, and patients can usually return home the same day.

  4. Improved overall health: Obesity is associated with several health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and joint pain. Losing weight through a gastric balloon procedure can improve these conditions, reduce the need for medication, and improve overall health.

  5. Improved self-esteem and confidence: Losing weight can have a positive impact on a patient's self-esteem and confidence. They may feel more comfortable in social situations, have more energy, and feel more motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

 

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