Gastric Balloon the procedure

This is performed as a day case. You will be given a light sedative which will help to relax you beforehand and a local anaesthetic which will numb the throat area which makes it easy for you to swallow the endoscope.

This is normally carried out by a specialist Gastroenterologist who is very experienced in this procedure.

He/she will insert a very slim tube called an endoscope into your mouth and will then pass it down into your stomach. He/she will check to see that everything is okay and when satisfied will insert the deflated balloon into the tube where it will be passed down that tube into your stomach.

It is made of a very soft and yet durable material so is unlikely to leak or burst although this has happened in a few rare cases.

This balloon has a tiny catheter attached to it: this catheter enables the specialist to fill the balloon. This balloon can be filled with either air or a saline solution. The saline solution is the preferred option.

He/she will also inject a coloured dye into the balloon as well. The idea behind this is if in the unlikely event of the balloon leaking or even bursting this dye will flush out of your system. If this does happen then you will notice that your urine changes to a green colour. If this does happen then it is a way of alerting you to the fact that something has gone wrong with the balloon.

As soon as the balloon is filled the specialist will remove the catheter by gently pulling on it. This seals the balloon.

The balloon is now floating safely in your stomach. The specialist then removes the endoscope by drawing it back up from your stomach and out through your mouth.

This whole procedure can take around 20 to 30 minutes to complete. You will probably have to stay in hospital (or the clinic) for a couple of hours just to check that everything has gone smoothly. Once the staff are satisfied with your progress you can then return home.

It is a good idea to have a rest when you arrive back home. Even though this is not a surgical operation it is still a procedure and as such will require you to recover from it. You may find that you need two to three days to fully recover and can return to work afterwards.

Gastric balloon guide sections

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