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Gastric Balloon - FAQ

Updated July 17, 2019

Table of contents

What is a gastric balloon?

Gastric balloon is a medical device that is used to help people fight obesity. Doctor place the balloon, which filled with gas or saline solution, into the stomach in order to make less room for the food. As a result, the patient feels satiety and eats less.

How is gastric balloon placement performed?

The placement of gastric balloon is done using endoscopy through the mouth, under local sedation. The procedure takes up to 30 minutes, during it, you won’t feel anything. After the balloon has been inserted the doctor will but gas or saline solution into it.

Who is a candidate for the gastric balloon abroad?

The adult with a BMI (body mass index) between 27 and 35, who is in a good general and mental health can consider having the gastric balloon.

How much is a gastric balloon procedure in Poland?

Gastric balloon procedure has the lowest total cost out of all available types of weight loss surgery. Prices for the gastric balloon procedure in Poland starts from  2000 GBP which is almost twice cheaper than in the UK.

Is the gastric balloon covered by insurance?

It depends on your insurance plan, but in most cases insurance does not cover gastric balloon procedure. You should contact your insurance company for all the details.

Will I be able to feel the balloon in my stomach?

For the first three days, there will be some discomfort in your stomach. After 3 days to 1 week, most patients do not experience anything other than a feeling of fullness.

How is the gastric balloon removed?

The balloon is removed in the same way as it was placed, using endoscope through the mouth. Before removing the doctor will deflate the balloon.  

How many pounds will I lose with the gastric balloon in Poland?

In general, after 6 months most patients lose 30% of excess weight (10 – 25 kg). The long-term weight loss depends entirely on your diet and lifestyle choices. After the gastric balloon procedure, some people may have loose skin, this problem can be solved with lipectomy in Poland

How long does it take to recover after insertion of gastric balloon abroad?

There is no need to stay for the night in the clinic after the gastric balloon procedure. It is advised to take at least 3 days off work, in order to give your body time to get used to its new conditions. For two weeks you should avoid lifting heavy objects. After a month all the activities can be resumed.

Does gastric balloon limit activities?

Once your body has adapted to the gastric balloon (usually after 3 days) you can restart your usual activities. After the month you can restart any sport.

What happens if the balloon leaks?

This situation is very rare, but if it happens first thing you will notice is the change in the colour of your urine (blue/green). As soon as you notice it contact your doctor and he will extract the balloon with endoscopy. If you delay informing your doctor you might expect the balloon to be evacuated by the natural route.

Will I gain weight once the gastric balloon is removed?

Yes, you can gain and you can lose weight once the balloon is removed, gastric balloon is not a “long-term fix”, long-term weight loss depends entirely on your diet and lifestyle choices.

What health improvements can I expect after gastric balloon procedure abroad?

Obesity is known to be very harmful to the health, with the gastric balloon you will lose excess weight, as a result, you will feel improvements in dyslipidemia, high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), high blood pressure (hypertension), and joint/bone disease (osteoarthropathy). People who have type 2 diabetes might expect remission after gastric balloon procedure.

Why must the balloon be extracted after 6 months?

After a maximum 6 months, the gastric balloon must be removed as the stomach adapts to it and it no longer causes a feeling of satiety.

After 6 months can I replace the gastric balloon?

Yes. But it is advised to wait at least 6 weeks before replacing, in order for you to see if your behavioural modification programs were successful and if you continue to lose weight without the balloon.

How long should I stay in Poland after gastric balloon procedure?

You should stay in Poland for at least 1 week if you want to have gastric balloon procedure done. The first day you will have a consultation and medical tests, the next day the procedure can be performed. There is no need to stay in the clinic after the procedure, but you should stay in Poland for at least 5 more days. 3 days after the surgery, you will

Is gastric balloon covered by NHS?

Yes, it is possible for some patients to have gastric balloon covered by NHS, yet there have to be met some criteria ( for example BMI 40 or more, you tried other methods of losing weight) and they can vary across England.

Can a gastric balloon burst?

It is really rare, but yes, there exists a possibility that a balloon may burst, therefore colouring agent is poured into a balloon which after absorption to digestive track colours urine into blue. This balloon is then removed.

How does gastric balloon work?

An intragastric balloon is a newer kind of weight-loss procedure. A saline-filled silicone balloon is placed in the stomach, which helps losing weight by limiting the amount of food you can eat which makes you feel fuller faster. They are left for about 6 months

Can I have a gastric balloon with BMI over 40?

Most of the surgeons do not recommend gastric balloon with BMI over 40. The reason is that a BMI of > 40 is not really associated with good weight loss and the FDA approval was within the 30-40 BMI. The greater the BMI, the lesser the good results with balloons and other non-surgical interventions.

Is gastric balloon good for non-obese?

Generally, gastric balloon is for patients with significant weight gain and for those who tried losing weight through diet and exercising but failed.

Is it possible to have a gastric balloon without surgery?

Yes, it is possible with the gastric balloon. The gastric balloon is inserted orally through the oesophagus and placed put into your stomach during a non-surgical procedure.

slim woman after gastric balloon

Is gastric balloon safe?

Gastric balloon is a fully safe and reversible procedure. Although, there are some severe side effects, such as small bowel obstruction, perforation or tears in the stomach, and bleeding yet they are rare.

Is gastric balloon filled with air?

After the gastric balloon is inserted it is then filled with saline and remains as a free-floating object in the stomach cavity. Additionally to saline, the balloon that is made from silicone may contain some radio-opaque material as a radiographic marker and a dye such as methylene blue to alert the patient if the balloon leaks. Studies have proved that fluid is a better option to air for distending gastric balloons.

Can gastric balloon affect pregnancy?

If you already have the gastric balloon in place, you will be recommended to avoid pregnancy until your gastric balloon is removed.
Moreover, after the gastric balloon is removed, the stomach regains normal size and fertility is not affected. If a woman would like to become pregnant, doctors will usually advise keeping weight in a reasonable range.

Can smokers have the gastric balloon?

Smoking increases the risk for many illnesses, for example, cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, stomach and lungs as well as emphysema, heart disease and stroke. Many of these illnesses are already more common among individuals who are overweight or obese.
Smoking also raises the risks associated with surgery, including bariatric procedures such as gastric bypass and gastric balloon. Those who undergo surgery are more likely than nonsmokers to experience anaesthesia-related complications or infections.

Can I fly by plane with the gastric balloon?

Yes, you can. A plane maintains normal pressure throughout the cabin, even at high altitude, so the balloon will not be affected at all. Also, it will not explode.

Can I have a gastric balloon if I drink an alcohol?

Alcohol can be rich in calories and, in large quantities, may affect the positive results of weight loss surgery. Moreover, alcohol does not provide nutrients to the body and in some instances, can cause harm by triggering the development of ulcers. In addition, with less food in the stomach, alcohol can have a quicker and greater effect on the body
Also, alcohol increases gastric acid production, causes abdominal discomfort, slows down weight loss.

Can I have a gastric balloon without insurance?

Gastric balloons are usually not covered by health insurance as insurers claim that gastric balloons haven’t been proven to be very effective compared to more invasive, surgical procedures.

Can gastric balloon cause diarrhoea?

After the insertion of a balloon, there is a period of adjustment as your body adapts to having the additional balloon volume in your stomach. There are some additional side effects like diarrhoea. This symptom is normal and should be expected.

Can gastric balloon cause constipation?

Yes, the gastric balloon can cause constipation but it is a normal symptom and it will cease soon after the surgery

Can gastric balloon cause vomit?

Yes, a gastric balloon can cause vomiting but it is a normal symptom and it will cease soon after the surgery

Can gastric balloon cure diabetics?

It is proved that healthy weight loss plays a significant role in reducing blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics, and bariatric surgery has been proven to be the most effective way for obese patients to lose significant body weight.

Can gastric balloon cause cancer?

It is highly rated for the gastric balloon to cause cancer as it is the safe and non-invasive procedure

Can a hiatal hernia be repaired with the gastric balloon?

A large hiatal hernia is a contraindication to gastric balloon insertion. For patients who are looking for a balloon and have a known a hiatal hernia, specialists will try to obtain a copy of any prior X-ray tests or endoscopy reports, so that they can determine the size. For patients without a known hernia, a diagnostic endoscopy is performed at the time of a balloon placement. This allows identifying a hiatal hernia.

What if the gastric balloon goes wrong?

As the gastric balloon is not a surgery but endoscopic procedure, it is mainly for extremely obese patients who are later on prepared for a bariatric surgery, for those with advanced age, who do not want to undergo a surgery, and for those who are overweight. Therefore, the gastric balloon should not be treated as the treatment itself.

What does the first week after gastric balloon look like?

For the first few days after the gastric balloon procedure, you may feel uncomfortable because the stomach is adjusting to the balloon. Also, you may feel nauseous, may vomit, and can experience flatulence, diarrhoea or stomach cramps until the body adjusts to the device. These conditions are normal and can be expected. Your doctor will provide you with guidelines about administering water during this period. It is highly important to drink lots of water during the first couple of days, and solid foods should be avoided.

What diet is recommended before gastric balloon?

Before the procedure, your stomach must be completely empty and if there are any food remnants, your doctor won’t be able to insert the balloons. Starting two days before the surgery it’s important to follow diet eating guideline, for example 48 hours before the procedure you can eat only soft foods such as milk, eggs, tofu, cheese, custard, strained soups, rice, cooked vegetables, and bread–no fried foods, rich desserts or meat in any form. 24 hours before the procedure you are allowed to consume only clear liquids (e.g., broth, tea, apple juice). 12 hours before the surgery you cannot eat or drink anything.

What diet is recommended after gastric balloon?

After the gastric balloon procedure, you are allowed to have mall sips of water, diluted juices, sports drinks, herbal and decaffeinated tea and popsicles.
You should avoid: carbonated drinks, such as soda or mineral water, because they may cause gas and bloat. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea as they may produce more stomach acid and cause gastric irritation.


Will gastric balloon help fatty liver?

The most significant risk factors are obesity and the metabolic syndrome for which bariatric surgery has been shown to be an effective treatment. However, the effects of bariatric surgery on the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, specifically liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, are not well established.

Will gastric balloon cure IBS?

Most patients who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome find that after Gastric Balloon surgery and other types of bariatric surgery, their IBS improves. In fact, numerous bariatric surgery patients notice that their IBS is no longer a fact for them and their symptoms are greatly reduced.

Will gastric balloon cure PCOS?

Bariatric surgery can be an effective way of weight loss in PCOS women. Surgical techniques have become safer and less invasive and have been found to be effective in achieving significant weight loss. Bariatric surgery may also have reproductive benefits in PCOS patients.

Will gastric balloon cure GERD?

People who are thinking of having any bariatric surgery often have GERD. It is proved that weight-loss after bariatric surgery can often help relieve GERD symptoms.

Will gastric balloon cure food addiction?

The gastric balloon itself does not cure food addiction. It is the patient who needs to learn new eating habits. Also, it is of great importance to engage a patient into a therapy as the gastric balloon is eventually removed and changes implemented into digestive track last definitely longer.

Can gastric balloon stretch my stomach?

Yes, the gastric balloon may stretch the stomach as it takes some part of it and eventually it stretches the stomach. It also thickens the stomach’s walls, therefore the risk of leak of a digestive track after bariatric surgery, after gastric balloon, is greater.

Is gastric balloon reversible?

A gastric balloon is a reversible weight-loss procedure that can be of a great help to obese patients or for those who do not have quite the BMI required for weight-loss surgery.

Can I have a gastric balloon with a cold?

Cold excludes you from the gastric balloon. Only after 2 weeks, the procedure can be performed.

Can gastric balloon cure Crohn disease?

No, it does not cure Crohn disease

Can gastric balloon put my weight back on?

Patients with gastric balloons typically experience around 20 and 30% weight loss. However, the amount of weight lost by each patient will vary depending on individual circumstances.

Can gastric balloon patients take aspirin?

If a patient needs to take Aspirin, yes he/she should continue. However, there is a risk that bleeding from the stomach is greater.

In which cases the gastric balloon does not work?

Generally there are some contraindications for the intragastric balloon which among them are previous gastric surgery, hiatal hernia Z5 cm, a coagulation disorder, a potential bleeding lesion of the upper gastrointestinal tract, pregnancy or desire to become pregnant, breastfeeding, alcoholism or drug addiction, severe liver disease, or any contraindication to endoscopy Relative contraindications include previous abdominal surgery, hiatal hernia, esophagitis, Crohn’s disease, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use, or uncontrolled psychiatric disorders

Why does gastric balloon fail?

In general, gastric balloon surgery fails due to a patient’s negligence of diet or not committing to it properly, moreover, to lack of physical activities

Beauty Poland cooperates with best clinics in Poland and can guarantee you the high quality of the procedure. If you have more questions contact us, we will be happy to help you!

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