Information on Intragastric Balloons

The Intragastric Balloon is a simple tool that is designed to give you the extra help you need to adjust to a healthier lifestyle.

Obalon Balloon diagram
Elipse Balloon
Orbera® Balloon diagram
Orbera® Balloon

The intragastric balloon procedure is a type of weight loss treatment that can help you lose weight without invasive surgery. It is used as a temporary measure for 2 reasons. It can be used to kick-start your weight loss or, if your weight makes it too risky to go for the more invasive treatments, you may need a balloon to help you to get down to a safe weight prior to surgery.

The treatment involves placing a soft saline silicone balloon in the stomach for four months (Elipse procedure) or up to 12 months (Orbera 365 procedure). The balloon is designed to partially fill your stomach making you feel fuller more quickly after small meals. It is used for patients who do not want, or do not qualify, for surgery.

The intra-gastric balloon is only part of the solution; it can not work without your commitment and the support of a supervisory medical team. You will meet with one of our dietitians on a regular basis while the balloon is in place. With you they will design a programme to help you successfully reach and maintain your weight-loss goals. While learning, you will be motivated by your success and more easily turn these principles into habits that will serve you the rest of your life. You will have one or two sessions with the dietitian after the balloon is removed to ensure that you do not regain the weight that you have lost.

It’s a fact that diets alone rarely change long-term eating habits. Many people find themselves in a cycle of losing and gaining weight, as they switch from one failed diet to another – the so-called ‘yo-yo’ effect. Others may resort to slimming drugs or diet suppressants, but even then unpleasant side effects can make it difficult to stay the course. If you feel you are in this cycle the balloon may be what you need to kick-start your weight loss.

Benefits of the Intragastric Balloon

  • Proven to deliver better weight-loss than with diet alone
  • Simple non-surgical procedure
  • Does not require long-term drug therapy
  • Helps create and maintain a feeling of fullness
  • Makes it easier to adopt changes to your eating habits and lifestyle

To qualify for the Intragastric Balloon you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Over weight with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 27
  • Ready to commit to long-term changes relating to eating patterns and exercise

How much weight could I expect to lose?

Patients with intragastric balloons can expect to have significant weight-loss  (the national average is 20-30% of your excess weight but we often get much more than that). It is important you attend your follow up meetings with the dietitian. The amount of weight you lose and how long you maintain that weight-loss will depend on how well you adopt the life-style changes you make while the balloon is in place.