Intra-gastric balloons have been around in one form or another for 20+ years. I use the Orbera type balloons - the BIB and the Orbera365. I like the fact that this balloon has been around for so long so that we have has the most clinical experience. Over 250,000 Orbera balloons have been placed worldwide with over 230 related research publications. I have used them in Australia and feel that comfortable with the technology. It is licensed for patients with a BMI>27.
The endoscopic placement technique is a really safe way to get the balloon in the right place. Essentially, a soft, silicone balloon is placed (endoscopically under sedation) into your stomach. No surgery is involved. No incisions, scars, stitches or changes to your anatomy. It takes around 2o minutes to perform and fill the balloon with saline. It creates a feeling of fullness after meals so that you stick to smaller portions. After either 6 months or 12 months, it is simply removed with another endoscopic procedure under sedation.
The most rapid weight loss occurs in the first 3 months after placement. Thereafter it is important to change your lifestyle so that you will see ongoing benefits even after removal.
Occasionally patients do not see as much weight loss with the balloon as they expect. It is important to remember that the balloon is a 'tool' not a magic solution to your weight. You have to adjust your lifestyle and diet to see the benefits but that intra-gastric balloons can really help support your weight loss journey. On average, studies have shown patients lose 3x more with a gastric balloon than an exercise and diet programme alone, about 10% of your total body weight. But this is also a 'temporary' solution to your weight issues, the balloon has to be removed at some point and you can regain your weight if you have not made lifestyle changes.
Mr Shenfine will run through the risks and benefits at your consultation and assess to make sure that the balloon is a 'good fit' for what you require in your weight management. Some patients cannot have an intra-gastric balloon, for example if you have had previous gastric surgery or peptic ulcer disease or require anticoagulants/blood thinners or are pregnant.
It takes at least five days to adjust to having the balloon in your stomach. Nearly all patients experience nausea, reflux or even vomiting in the first week and need medication to get you through this week. But thereafter those sensations settle.
The balloon HAS to be removed at the time period stated by Mr Shenfine as otherwise the risks increase dramatically as the balloon degrades in your stomach. You cannot keep the balloon longer than this.
We are unable to offer a 'package' in Jersey in the way some UK mainland centres can. But often these packages throw in support that you pay for but will never use and over-price simple things like medications. Equally this gives you the flexibility to have the balloon removed elsewhere should you move. We only charge you for what you need and we feel this is very comparable to UK costs factoring in the support on island. Prices vary a little between the 6 month and 12 month balloons both due to the differences in balloon and the aftercare. You will need to factor in the following:
INSERTION COST INCLUDES:
EXTRACTION COST INCLUDES:
We do not offer specialist App access, connected scales, fitness tracker etc because you can get these considerably cheaper yourself if you need them!
All procedures carry risk. In relation to intra-gastric balloons, these can be associated with the endoscopic procedure to place or remove the balloon, the medications used to minimise the side-effects, the risks of actually having a balloon in your stomach, and intolerance to the balloon.
Endoscopic placement of the balloon is intended to minimise the risks by viewing the exact placement of the balloon. However, damage from the endoscopy is possible and from the associated sedation. As with any weight loss procedure there is always the possibility of insufficient or no associated weight loss. The balloon is not magic, you have to engage with a programme of dietary and exercise (lifestyle) changes. If you do then the balloon can significant aid your weight loss.
Some discomfort, bloating, nausea and vomiting are common after balloon placement but settle rapidly. The following are the most serious issues that have been reported after balloon placement. All complications can become life-threatening and you must report anything that does not feel right to Mr Shenfine or your GP.
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