Blog

2017
Feb-15
INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON - A novel non-surgical treatment for obesity
By Dr Shelley C Paul, MD, DM(Gstro), PhD : Co-author - Dr. Tom Babu, MD, DNB (Endo)| 4 Comments

Who is the right candidate for Intragastric Balloon? 
This is an effective non-surgical method for treating obesity and its related complications. It is useful in obese people with a body mass index (BMI) > 30 kg/m2. It can play many roles in the treatment of obesity; a) to loose weight before moving on to more complex procedures like bariatric surgery (as a bridge), b) can be effective in people with mild to moderate forms of obesity, C) Complications of obesity like fatty liver, obstructive sleep apnoea (snoring), control of diabetes and hypertension, etc. d) People with more severe forms of obesity who cannot undergo surgical weight loss procedures or who are afraid of surgeries can be treated effectively with intragastric balloon. 

Why early intervention in obesity? 
It is ideal to treat people with mild to moderate forms of obesity early. Obese patients, especially the ones with increase risk of heart disease tend to benefit from early treatment.  Mild to moderate weight loss is shown to increase life span in these obese individuals. People who are overweight (who cannot be termed as obese) can opt for intragastric balloon as well with significant benefits. 

The real benefits:
People with moderate forms of obesity struggle to control their co-existing diseases. These are mainly diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol abnormalities, etc. With intragastric balloon, these diseases can be kept under check through moderate weight reduction.

How does intragastric balloon work?
Intragstric balloon is placed inside the stomach endoscopically (through the mouth). Once inside, the balloon is inflated (with 400 ml of liquid) to reduce the size of the stomach. The balloon mimics surgeries used in weight loss to restrict the size of the stomach. Balloons can be kept in the stomach for a period of upto 12 months.

Weight loss with intragastric balloon:
Typically, the average weight loss is around 10 to 14 kilos in 3 months and round 24-26 kilos in 6 months. This weight loss is seen to persist for upto 6 months after explanting the balloon. The weight loss was seen for upto 3 years in certain studies.The maximum weight reduction with this technique is seen in the first 3 months. 

Complications with intragastric balloon:
It is generally a safe procedure since it is non-operative. Adverse events like `pain abdomen, nausea are the more common side effects. Spontaneous deflation of the balloon and migration of the balloon can occur requiring explanting of the balloon.

Summary: 
Intragastric balloon is fast becoming a novel "non-operative" tool in the management of obesity. It is seen to be more effective in people with mild to moderate forms of obesity. The weight lost achieved (20- 25 kilos) is seen to be maintained for upto 3 years following surgery. Diseases associated with obesity like diabetes, hypertension and lipid abnormalities can effectively controlled with this procedure. The side effects from the procedure are minimal and is generally well tolerated.

THERE ARE 4 COMMENTS

Posted by Patricia A Alghali on March  Thu, 2017, 01:18 PM

I will be Elamkulam, Cochin visiting from 24/03/17 until 28/03/17. I would like a consultation during this period, if possible.

Posted by Patricia A Alghali on March  Thu, 2017, 01:19 PM

I will be Elamkulam, Cochin visiting from 24/03/17 until 28/03/17. I would like a consultation during this period, if possible.

Posted by Dr Chongo Mwila on August  Thu, 2017, 06:51 PM

Trying to get in touch with Patricia Corbett Alghali after the horrific storm in Houston. I am worried about her and have no means of contacting her. If she visits this site again, please alert her. Thankyou very much

Posted by Dr Chongo Mwila on August  Thu, 2017, 06:52 PM

Trying to get in touch with Patricia Corbett Alghali after the horrific storm in Houston. I am worried about her and have no means of contacting her. If she visits this site again, please alert her. Thankyou very much

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