Gastric balloons are a type of medical device that are used to help people lose weight. They are inserted into the stomach through the mouth, using an endoscope (a long, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end). Once in place, the balloon is inflated with a sterile solution, filling a large portion of the stomach and creating a feeling of fullness. This can help people to eat less and lose weight.
There are several types of gastric balloons available, including single- or multiple-balloon systems, and they are usually left in place for a period of six months to a year. Gastric balloons are generally considered to be less invasive than other weight loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, and they do not involve any incisions or cuts. However, like all medical procedures, gastric balloons carry some risks and side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Gastric balloons are typically only recommended for people who are severely obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or for those with a BMI of 35 or higher who have obesity-related health problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes. They are not a permanent solution for weight loss and are typically used in conjunction with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, to help people achieve long-term weight loss success.
It is important for people to carefully consider all of their options and discuss them with their healthcare provider before deciding whether a gastric balloon is right for them. Other weight loss options, such as diet and exercise, may be more appropriate for some people, and it is important to choose the option that is best suited to an individual's specific needs and circumstances.
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