The gastric balloon is a surgical weight loss method. In this operation, the stomach is reduced in size, so that the patient is already fed after a low intake of food. The gastric reduction through a gastric band is only useful in conjunction with a behavioral therapy and a supervised diet. When you consume calorie-concentrated foods such as chocolate, lemonade or alcohol, the weight loss is lower.
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The gastric balloon is a special plastic and silicone balloon. It is introduced through the esophagus into the stomach during a gastroscopy (gastroscopy) and then filled with air or saline solution (200-700 ml).
The procedure can be performed without anesthesia, on an outpatient basis. The gastric balloon then floats freely in the stomach, but can not reach the intestine or the esophagus due to its size.
The effect is simple: The stomach expands faster when eating, since it is already filled with the balloon. It sets a faster satiety, so that the food intake is reduced. The gastric balloon remains in the stomach for 4 to 6 months and is then emptied and removed, also by gastroscopy.
If calorie-reduced food is consumed at the same time, the weight can be reduced by about 5-20 kilos in half a year. Possible side effects include: bloating, pressure, nausea and vomiting.
All surgical procedures should only be used in particularly severe cases of obesity (obesity with BMI> 40). In the event of an intervention, the risk of illness caused by overweight should always be higher than the surgical risk.
Surgical measures should really be the very last option for losing weight. Doctors and health insurances leave no stone unturned to avoid this. That's a good thing, because most operations involve great risks.
Not only anesthesia is dangerous, even the long-term change in natural digestion is not without significant side effects. In Germany, surgery is therefore never possible without long-term care by psychologists, nutritionists and specialists.
Many of these operations are very expensive and are not always covered by health insurance. A BMI below 30 (30 kilograms per square meter) does not justify surgery for most health insurance companies.