Obesity has become an epidemic in the US with now 1 in 3 Americans meeting criteria for obesity. Obesity is measured the ratio of a person’s weight (or mass in kg) to their height – this measurement is called the body mass index (BMI). The rates of bariatric surgeries are also increasing. However many patients do not meet criteria for bariatric surgeries or do not want to undergo such an invasive and potentially risky procedure to lose weight.
New technologies are allowing endoscopists to offer minimally invasive obesity interventions for these patients. One such technology is the temporary placement of an inflated balloon in the stomach. This balloon is made of silicon, takes up 1/3 of the stomach volume and is meant to stay in the stomach for about 6 months. Because the balloon causes patients to eat less, they tend to lose on average about 25% of their excess body after one year. This is an exciting technology and option for obese patients done on an outpatient basis.
All IGB procedures are performed under anesthesia, thus the patient will not feel any pain or remember the procedure. Once the patient is sedated, the endoscopist will insert the endoscope into your mouth where it will travel down your stomach where the IGB will be placed and inflated. After the procedure the patient will recover from anesthesia and be discharged home.
It is common after the procedure to experience nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain after the procedure. Patients may require medications for nausea and abdominal cramping temporarily to control symptoms. These symptoms will usually resolve after a few days. The patient will keep the IGB in place in their stomach for 6 months. After 6 months, the patient will return to have a second endoscopic procedure to remove the balloon again under anesthesia.
The most important aspect for the success of IGB is the patient’s aftercare. Patients are highly encouraged to participate in a dietary, behavioral, and exercise program to optimize the success of their intervention and help maintain it for the long term. Patients help navigate this program over 12 months after the procedure with the help of their doctor, dietician and nurse navigator.
Are you interested in learning more about IGB, or other treatment options? We invite you to contact us to learn more. Dr. Prashant Kedia is a therapeutic endoscopist and gastroenterologist serving patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond. Call today to schedule an appointment at (214) 941-6891.