In the United States, more than two out of three adults are either considered overweight or obese. A person is obese when their Body Mass Index (BMI) exceeds 30.
Once you are obese, it is very difficult to lose weight and keep it off. In fact, 95% percent of people who lose weight will regain it after five to ten years.
Two of the largest contributors is ineffective weight loss methods and the inability to develop proper habits. Until recently, if you wanted the pounds to disappear for good, you had to resort to dangerous gastric bypass surgeries.
But now there may be another way. Gastric balloons like the Orbera weight loss system is safer and often more effective than other types of gastric procedures. Inserting the balloon is non-surgical, and unlike most gastric surgeries, it is impermanent.
If you are among the millions of Americans who have tried to lose weight but have been unable to do so, read on to see if a stomach balloon is the answer to your weight loss dreams.
What is a Gastric Balloon and How is It Inserted?
A gastric balloon, also called an Intragastric, Bariatric or Stomach balloon, is a soft, durable bubble. The deflated balloon attaches to a tube that is then laced through the esophagus while you are mildly sedated.
Once in the stomach, the balloon gets filled with a non-toxic saline solution until it is about the size of a grapefruit. This is large enough to ensure you get fuller quicker but small enough to be comfortable.
This causes a significant reduction in your appetite so you are less likely to overeat. It may also cause hormonal changes that make you hungry less often.
The process is an out-patient procedure that takes between twenty and thirty minutes. Most gastric bypass surgeries keep you in the hospital for two to three days.
Who Qualifies for the Stomach Balloon?
If the following applies to you, then it may be time to talk to your health care provider about a gastric balloon:
- You have attempted and failed to lose weight with traditional healthcare methods
- Your is BMI between 30 and 40
- You have a dedication to making healthier lifestyle choices
- You are willing to work with an exercise coach
In most cases, to qualify for gastric bypass surgery, you have to already be morbidly obese with a BMI of at least 40. The only other way to qualify is to have significant health problems that are further complicated by your obesity.
This means that the majority of people who qualify for this type of surgery are already in trouble. Add to that the significant risks the surgery presents and it can get ugly fast.
Using a bariatric balloon allows you to get ahead of the game to further increase your chances of success.
What are the Risks?
One-third of patients receive the gastric balloon report pain and nausea for a few days after the procedure. These symptoms are usually negated with medication in most case.
In very rare cases, the balloon deflates and can travel through the digestive tract. If the balloon does this, it could cause a blockage that in turn results in further surgical procedures.
Other rare side effects include ulcers and stomach perforations that may need surgery to fix.
In contrast, gastric bypass surgeries often require up to five weeks to recover. Some side effects of gastric bypass include chronic nausea and vomiting, infection, stomach obstructions, weight gain, malnutrition, and hernias.
What Happens After the Procedure?
For the first week following placement, a liquid diet is prescribed. Two weeks after that, you get moved to a diet of pureed foods. Then, you are usually able to resume a normal diet.
In most cases, you must start an exercise regimen before placement. After insertion, the regimen continues with the help of an exercise coach.
This assisted activity regimen usually stays in effect for at least twelve months following the procedure and helps to instill healthy habits. Without these healthier habits, weight gain is inevitable.
Six months after the procedure, the balloon gets deflated and removed through the esophagus in the same way it was placed.
Most other gastric procedures are permanent and often cause malnutrition because it prevents calories and nutrients from getting absorbed. The balloon has a similar effect, but because it gets removed after six months, malnutrition is far less likely to occur.
How Will an Exercise Coach Help Me?
Research shows that it takes doing something every day for 21 days to develop a simple habit. A good example would be drinking a glass of water every day after breakfast.
This same research shows that more intense activities, like 50 sit-ups after morning coffee can take 84 days to develop into habits. Some habits were slated to take closer to 254 days.
Most healthcare professionals who place gastric balloons offer an exercise coach to go along with it. Because the coach is with you for up to a year after the procedure, they can help you develop healthy habits that last.
Ready to Get Started?!
If you are ready to take the big step in your weight loss journey, we hope you consider a gastric balloon. Next Level Weight Loss uses the Orbera Managed Weight Loss System.
This system includes an exercise coach. The average person who participates in our program loses three times more weight than people who only use diet and exercise.
Remember, Orbera is a weightloss tool. It still requires a lifetime commitment to truly benefit from the procedure.
If you are ready for the responsibility, we encourage you to set up a consultation today! No matter what you choose, please feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.