WHY GASTRIC BALLOON?
As obesity is a very dangerous issue, it needs to be resolved. Obesity may cause chronic diseases and social issues. Heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea are the negative effects of obesity. Obese people are not as good at physical activities as others and feel less self-confident. Gastric balloon prevents them from overeating, helps patients resolve their obesity quickly and manage their eating styles. For obese people who were unable to lose weight by trying different methods, gastric balloon is a good and safe option.
ARE YOU A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR GASTRIC BALLOON?
You are a good candidate for gastric balloon procedure if:
- You do not wish to undergo a surgery.
- You have diabetes or sleep apnea, high blood pressure.
- You have to undergo other surgeries related to heart, bones, etc.
- Your body mass index (BMI) is more than 29 and less that. ( Calculate your BMI )
- You are allergic to anesthesia.
- You are properly prepared to change your previous eating habits and lifestyle.
You are not a good candidate for gastric balloon if:
- You abuse alcohol or drugs.
- You have undergone other stomach surgeries.
- You are suffering from either stomach or duodenum ulcer.
- You have been using anti-blood coagulation drugs.
- You are pregnant.
- You are suffering from chronic renal failure.
- You are suffering from gastric hernia which has a length of more than 5 centimeters.
- You have psychiatric issues.
- You have cirrhosis of the liver.
- You are suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.
- You are suffering from collagen diseases.
You are suffering from certain cancers.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF GASTRIC BALLOON PROCEDURE?
Gastric balloon has the following advantages compared to other weight loss treatments:
- It is non-invasive. There will be no surgical procedure
- Complications and risks are less than other weight loss procedures and surgeries.
- The balloon is removable after about 6 months.
- It can be combined with a diet to help you change your lifestyle.
- You are able to leave hospital 2 hours after the procedure.
HOW IS A GASTRIC BALLOON PERFORMED?
As it is a mere procedure and not a surgery, you are introduced to an outpatient clinic. Before getting the balloon, you are given a sedative or light anesthesia. The deflated balloon is inserted through your mouth and esophagus via an endoscope (a long tube with a camera at the end of it). 400 to 700 cc amount of a sterile liquid is injected through the tube which fills the balloon enough to occupy one-third of the stomach.
The next step is removing the endoscope and leaving the balloon in the stomach. With using the endoscope, the balloon and its place are checked. The procedure needs 15 to 20 minutes. Single and dual gastric balloon are the two types of gastric balloon procedure. The dual balloon is ideal for those who want to lose a greater amount of weight. It also has the merit of fitting more perfectly inside the stomach due to the natural curvature of the stomach and it has less movement. The same day of the procedure, you are released from the hospital.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE A GASTRIC BALLOON?
Apart from all the pre-operative cares that any surgery requires, do what is listed below before gastric balloon procedure:
- Do not eat 12 hours before the appointment.
- For 6 hours before the appointment, do not drink.
- Have anti-nausea medicine and acid-reflux prepared at home for your return.
- Do not forget psychological counseling.
- Get special nutrition education.
- Have endoscopy of the stomach (gastrointestinal endoscopy), esophagus (EGD), duodenum (esophagogastroduodenoscopy), and H. Pylori test.
- Have blood test, including blood globules, parasite test, sodium and potassium of the blood, blood glucose, coagulation tests, albumin, cholesterol, and blood triglyceride.
- Have a psychological test.
- Have heart tests including chest X-ray and electrocardiogram.
- If you are suffering from pulmonary diseases, have pulmonary tests and abdominal ultrasound.
WHAT ARE GASTRIC BALLOON RECOVERY AND POST-OPERATIVE CARE?
2 hours after the procedure, you are able to go home. It is normal to feel nausea or pain after the procedure for a couple of days to a couple of weeks. It depends on your health condition before the gastric balloon procedure. During the second week, your appetite will return. During weeks 3 to 6, you feel better, but hiccups and nausea appear when you eat too much or too quickly. During weeks 7 to 12, you need to start exercising 3 to 5 days a week. After week 12, it is good for you to contact a support group. Your lifestyle and eating habits will have been changed by this time. Consider what are listed below:
- Avoid fast food as much as you can.
- Nutrient dense foods like fish, vegetables and fruits are better for your weight loss and health condition.
- Take the medication given to you and follow your diet. Your doctor may recommend you a Mediterranean diet.
- Sleep on the left side of your body with your head and neck higher than your left shoulder.
- During the first month, eat soft foods.
- Eat slowly and chew carefully.
- Drink 10 glasses of water every day.
- Avoid drinking while eating.
- Avoid any kind of sodas, coffee, and alcohol.
- As you are unable to control the amount of food when watching television, do not eat meanwhile.
- Stick to your recommended diet.
- In the case of any digestive discomfort, consult a specialist.
- Have diverse fruits rather than juices.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU EXPECT TO LOSE?
You will lose between 10 and 25 kilograms. The important thing is that you need to continue your physical activities. Never return to your previous eating habits which cause you to gain weight.
WHAT ARE COMMON SIDE EFFECTS AND RISKS OF GASTRIC BALLOON?
Depending on your health condition, gastric balloon may cause different conditions after the procedure. Some people do not experience any discomfort while others may experience some complications. Some possible complications are:
- Slight bleeding as a result of the insertion of the balloon
- Gastric discomfort
- Abdominal pain
- Gastro-esophageal reflux
- Leakage of the balloon up to 2%
- Rupture of the stomach up to 0.05%
The last four complications are extremely rare which can get resolved with the help of your doctor.
HOW MUCH DOES A GASTRIC BALLOON COST?
As gastric balloon is not a kind of treatment to be covered by insurance, the whole payment is on the patient. Depending on the doctor and the case of treatment, in the United States it costs between $6,000 and $9,000. In the United Kingdom, gastric balloon has a price of £3,950 approximately.
GASTRIC BALLOON IN IRAN
Gastric balloon is one of the most well-known weight loss procedures in Iran which is done by great and well-skilled specialists. Nowadays that Iranians, especially youths, pay more attention to their health condition and their weight, weight loss procedures are growing and progressing in Iran. There are well-equipped clinics in different cities of Iran like Tehran, Tabriz, Shiraz, Mashhad, Isfahan, Kish Island and other cities. Outpatient clinics in Iran offer different weight loss procedures, including gastric balloon.
WHY GASTRIC BALLOON COST IN IRAN
Unlike other countries, gastric balloon procedure is much more affordable in Iran. Apart from the procedure itself, there are services given to patients like a diet plan and counseling. All these services appropriate a price of around $2,000 in Iran while gastric balloon procedure in other countries like the U.S. is around $8,000, in Germany between 1,500 and 4,500 euros and in the United Arab Emirates around $5,000.