What is the Intragastric Balloon?
Beside the surgical treatment of obesity there is also less invasive method how to help to loose weight already tested in practice. It represents temporary placement of a silicone balloon into the stomach (BIB, Bioenterics Intragastric Balloon). Soft, expandable balloon is filled with blue colored solution of around 500ml that partially fills the stomach. Patients have then the feeling of fullness even after eating smaller amount of food.
The placement of the Intragastric Balloon
The actual procedure of placement of the balloon in the stomach is less burdening for the patient than the surgery (e.g. laparoscopic gastric banding). It usually does require neither general anesthesia nor hospitalization; it is an out-patient procedure. It is performed through endoscope camera that examines the stomach. The procedure takes approximately 20-30 minutes and the patient can return home after short relaxation and check up by the surgeon. Feeling of fullness and nausea and tension to vomit can occur for a few days after the placement. It is possible to have the intragastric balloon in the stomach only for 3-6 months to avoid its damage and following complications. The leakage of blue colored dye in the solution would cause a change in the color of urine which is the signal for immediate check up by the surgeon who has placed the BIB System. The BIB is removed the same way it was placed through endoscopic way.
How does the Intragastric Balloon work?
This method is based on simplification of weight reduction. The extent of weight loss with the help of the balloon is around 10 to 20 kg. It depends on the level of adherence to the diet – smaller portion of meals, which is caused by BIB System. The time period of maintaining the weight loss after the removal of balloon is essential. It mainly depends on the fact if you maintain diet changes and exercise activities.
Who can use the BIB System?
BIB is recommended especially for people considered extremely overweight with BMI over 50 as a preparation for gastric banding. It is good to reduce the high risk associated with the surgical procedures in these patients with BIB System prior to the surgery. Intragastric Balloon is also suitable, low invasive and effective aid for overweight treatment even for patients that are not prescribed for bariatric treatment. Although permanent effect can be achieved only in conjunction with specially prescribed diet and behavior modification program. BIB System is not covered by Health Insurance Company.
Data and image materials from www.bandingklub.cz were used for this article in compliance with Michal Čierny, M.D.