Gastric balloon – 14 ways it will affect you – bariatric surgery source abnormal endometrial biopsy results

The gastric balloon is not designed as a long-term fix. Because of the risk of it interfering with your stomach, the balloon is usually removed after 6 months. However, it could be left in place anywhere from 12 weeks to 1 year, depending on your results and the type of balloon you receive.

• A managed diet and exercise program – After removal, it is recommended you stick with a managed weight loss program, and then maintain your newly established diet going forward. Most practices combine the balloon with a lifestyle management program for 6 months after the removal of the balloon. This will ensure you maintain the weight you lost while the balloon was in place.

• An additional bariatric procedure, like the gastric sleeve or Lap-Band, which is performed after the balloon is removed.


Any weight loss that results from the balloon will reduce the risk of complications and increase the likelihood of long-term success of a more involved bariatric procedure.

It is also possible to have another balloon inserted after removal. However, because the balloon is used in tandem with a diet and exercise program your surgeon will likely ask you to wait a little while to determine whether there are less invasive ways to maintain a healthy weight.

Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation in the pancreas. It may occur due to the inflated balloon compressing internal organs. Symptoms can be felt as soon as a few days after the balloon is implanted and include severe abdominal/back pain, bloating, nausea, and loss of appetite.

Acute pancreatitis following gastric balloon implantation is being investigated by the FDA as a contributor or cause of death in five patients. The FDA has issued a safety alert, warning consumers about risks associated with gastric balloon and acute pancreatitis. The FDA investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released as necessary.

Apollo Endosurgery, a popular gastric balloon provider implemented in the investigation, has defended their product. They report that complications are rare, and that patients often have pre-existing conditions that contribute to health issues after gastric balloon implantation. They emphasize that remaining obese carries more risk than interventions like gastric balloon.

If your balloon is overinflated, you may experience strong abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, vomiting, or difficulty breathing as soon as one week after the balloon is implanted. Early removal of the balloon may be required to resolve the issue. More research needs to be done to determine what is causing overinflation.

Overinflation following gastric balloon implantation is being investigated by the FDA as a contributor or cause of death in five patients. They have issued a safety alert, warning consumers about risks associated with the gastric balloon and overinflation. The FDA investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released as necessary.

Apollo Endosurgery, a popular gastric balloon provider, has defended their product. They report that complications are rare, and that patients often have pre-existing conditions that contribute to health issues after gastric balloon implantation. They emphasize that remaining obese carries more risk than interventions like gastric balloon.

Because the surgeon uses a scope when performing the procedure, there is a slight chance that the scope could puncture the esophagus. However, this is very rare, with one practice saying that in the several hundred procedures they have performed, they have never encountered the problem. Stomach Blockage

It is possible for the balloon to deflate in the stomach and cause a blockage. This is why one system, the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System has two, independent balloons – if one deflates the other will keep the entire apparatus in the stomach. Most balloons are also filled with a dye designed to turn your urine an unusual color (like blue or green) so you know to alert your surgeon about an issue with your balloon. Stomach Ulcer or Rupture

To reduce the risk of an ulcer, your surgeon will most likely prescribe anti-ulcer medication for the entire time the balloon is in your stomach. Stomach rupture is extremely rare, and usually will only happen if you have already had some kind of stomach surgery, which means that most surgeons you speak with will most likely not be willing to perform the procedure if you have already undergone another stomach procedure.

• Talk with your surgeon about the above list of potential complications. A couple of the issues (acute pancreatitis and over-inflation) are recent discoveries and therefore not included in the device labeling, so your surgeon may be unaware of them unless one of their patients has experienced the issue.

After the first couple of weeks, if food sticks to your balloon, you may experience vomiting. To reduce this risk, you should avoid foods that are likely to stick to your balloon, like pasta, and sip water after you eat to rinse your balloon.

Bloating – Some people also report feeling bloated. Most likely this is from the feeling of the balloon in the stomach, however, if you are concerned, speak with your surgeon’s office. Don’t let this feeling discourage you – the feeling is probably an indication that the balloon is doing its job. Weight Regain

You’ll likely need someone to drive you home from the hospital and care for you for at least 24 hours following surgery, and your throat may be sore from insertion of the balloon. Full recovery generally happens within 3 or 4 days. 5. Adjust to Your New Post-Surgery Diet Lifestyle

Over the course of the first two weeks following gastric balloon surgery you will slowly transition from a clear liquid diet to your “new normal” balloon diet, and you should continue your transition into a more active lifestyle. Your doctor’s dietitian or nutritionist will help you determine an appropriate diet which will look similar to any “healthy diet” with the exception of:

Your doctor may schedule a follow up visit within the first 2 weeks following surgery to ensure that you are recovering well and to answer any questions. Subsequent doctor visits will be scheduled on an as-needed basis. 8. Remove or Replace the Balloon

To maintain or increase weight loss and health improvement after it’s removed, your doctor will discuss options such as continuing your new diet and exercise regimen, replacing your balloon with a new one, or potentially transitioning to a more permanent type of weight loss surgery.