An intragastric balloon is a revolutionary weight-loss procedure. A saline or air-filled silicone balloon is placed in your stomach, which helps you lose weight by limiting how much you can eat. It also makes you feel fuller faster.

How is the balloon fitted?

An intra-gastric balloon procedure can usually be done without making an incision in your abdomen. Instead, the balloon can be passed through your mouth and down into your stomach using an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube that has a light and a camera on one end). The tiny camera allows your doctor to see the balloon as he or she fills it with saline.

The procedure takes about a half-hour. You can normally go home several hours after the procedure.

Who is the ideal candidate for this procedure?

The procedure is useful if you don’t meet the criteria for the other types of surgery, or if you’re overweight/obese, and diet and exercise haven’t worked for you.

In general, an intragastric balloon may be an option for you if:

  • Your body mass index (BMI) is between 30 and 40.
  • You’re willing to commit to healthy lifestyle changes and regular medical follow-ups, as well as to participate in behavioural therapy.
  • You have not had any previous stomach or esophageal surgery.

Intragastric balloons are not the right choice for everyone who is overweight. A screening process will help your doctor see if the procedure can be beneficial for you.

Is the procedure permanent?

Intragastric balloons are left in place for up to 6 months, and are then removed using an endoscope

Check out our specialist’s profile

Dr. Zafar Quader
Consultant in Gastroenterology

Dr. Zafar Quader is a consultant Gastroenterologist, with more than 20 years of experience. He completed his medical training and gastroenterology fellowship in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Zafar has been in clinical practice and involved in clinical research in St. Louis, Missouri since 1995 and moved to Dubai in 2015. Dr. Quader provides individualized care to all adult patients with gastrointestinal disorders.

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