While maintaining a healthy weight is commonly associated with heart health and avoiding chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes and Fatty Liver, achieving weight loss can be a life-long struggle. In fact, literally millions of Americans are on a diet at any given time. Unfortunately, most will be unsuccessful.
Now, there is a new treatment in Orlando for weight loss using a gastric balloon that has been proven to be safe and effective. Unlike surgical weight loss programs like gastric bypass, this new technology is:
NON-SURGICAL— The Gastric Balloon is placed endoscopically without the need for surgery. Patients receive mild sedation to ensure comfort during the procedure. During endoscopy, the balloon is placed directly into the stomach. Once it’s safely in position, the balloon is slowly expanded to the size of a grapefruit. This will cause the sensation of feeling full.
NON-INVASIVE— Most gastric balloon procedures last 30 minutes. The majority of patients return home the same day. Since there are no stitches to care for or incisions to heal, there are generally no physical restrictions once the sedative wears off. Patients can immediately resume their normal activities and begin their weight loss journey.
NOT PERMANENT— The gastric balloon can remain in the stomach for 6 months. Removal simply involves a repeat non—surgical endoscopic procedure. This is far less invasive than removing other weight loss devices like the gastric lap band.
Frequently asked questions:
What is a gastric balloon?
The gastric balloon is a soft, silicone sack that is places into the stomach and filled with air and sterile water. The gastric balloon can guide you with appropriate portion control (how much food is eaten) and reduce the frequency of eating. The overall quantity of food will be less and you will stay satisfied longer. This is helpful for those with a tendency to snack between meals.
It is inserted by an outpatient endoscopic procedure under twilight sedation or light general anesthesia. This means no incisions are necessary. The balloon is passed through the mouth down into the stomach using an endoscope.
How much weight will the patient lose?
The gastric balloon works in combination with a structured diet and exercise plan. Patients can lose up to 5O pounds or three time the weight loss than expected with diet and exercise alone. Their success depends on whether they make the necessary dietary adjustments or how well they maintain them.
Can the gastric balloon be felt in the stomach?
There is often some discomfort during the first few days. After that, the body adjusts to the balloon and the primary sensation is feeling satisfied or full after eating or drinking.
How long can the balloon remain in the stomach?
Typically the balloon can remain in the stomach for up to six months. With repeat endoscopy, the balloon is deflated by removing the saline and removed through the esophagus.
Comprehensive Support to Help Achieve Weight Loss Goals
It is important to note that the gastric balloon alone will not cause weight loss. Rather, the full sensation patients experience while the balloon is inserted gives them an opportunity to comfortably learn and adopt new, healthy nutrition and exercise habits—without hunger and cravings that sabotage success.
To help guide patients, the program includes an online portal for weight loss management, as well as easy access to helpful information and support along the way. Since most of the weight will be lost while the balloon is inserted, a user—friendly app is available to help keep patients on track following removal.
Patients interested in the gastric balloon treatment for weight loss are medically evaluated in-office to determine whether the treatment is right for them.
By Maryam Kashi, DO
Maryam Kashi, DO, is board certified in gastroenterology and fluent in English, Spanish and Farsi. Dr. Kashi is the Medical Director of endoscopy at Florida Hospital Orlando and was recognized for three consecutive years in the Orlando “Top Doc” awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015. She received her medical degree at Nova Southeastern University and completed her residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University/Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. Dr. Kashi specializes in a variety of internal medicine procedures and conditions, including gastric balloon for weight loss, colonoscopy, Barrett’s esophagus, irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn/GERD, autoimmune liver disease and chronic liver disease.
If you want to learn more about the gastric balloon or to refer a patient for an in-office evaluation, contact the Central Florida Hepatology & Gastroenterology office 407.303.1812.