A gastric balloon is a non-surgical method for fighting excess weight. The main goal of a gastric balloon is to push people to make changes in their lifestyle. It can yield excellent results when combined with a good diet and increased levels of exercise. Depending on the type of balloon, patients lose about 10-25 kg on average, but people who start at a higher weight may lose more than that.
Surgeon Dr Rein Adamson from The Health Clinic was the first to start gastric balloon procedures in Estonia in 2000 and remains the only surgeon to regularly perform said procedures to this day. In June 2020, we adopted the Elipse balloon, a new generation product that does not require anaesthesia for insertion and a separate procedure for removal – the balloon simply passes through the body after 16 weeks. Read more about the innovative Elipse balloon HERE.
We have a Specialist Bariatric Nurse Judith Jobling in the United Kingdom calling our patients regularly in the first month after surgery to monitor their recovery. Judith gives professional support and advice to each patient and since she has had bariatric surgery herself, she can be of true help and counsel.
|Surgeon||Dr. Rein Adamson|
|Required body mass index||BMI 29|
|Anesthesia||4-months Elipse gastric balloon- without anaesthesia
6-months Allergan gastric balloon- intravenous
12-months Spatz gastric balloon- general
|Procedure duration||0,5-1 hours|
|Nights at hospital||1|
|Sick leave||1 week|
|Expected weight loss||10-25 kg|
|Pros||* GI tract is not opened
* Adjustable & removable
* Complications are rare
|Cons||* Total weight loss smaller
* Weight loss process is slower
|Price||4-months Elipse gastric balloon- €3450
6-months Allergan gastric balloon- €2690
12-months Spatz gastric balloon- €3290 (all-inclusive package, including a support person in the UK)
starting from €73 per month. Apply here.
The gastric balloon is an endoscopic treatment method for obesity. Combined with diet and exercise, it helps reducing weight.
We use balloons filled with liquid which have proven to be the most effective with minimal complications. There are 2 types of balloons available – 6 months Allergan gastric balloon and 1 year Spatz gastric balloon. The Spatz balloon can also be refilled after 3 months.
The gastric balloon can be considered as an option for weight loss if your body mass index is 29 and higher.
A soft silicone balloon will be delivered into the stomach via the aid of an endoscope, and the empty balloon will be filled with fluid in the stomach. If the balloon is full it will be too big to move into the small intestine, so it floats in the stomach freely. The balloon partially fills the stomach, thus giving the patient the feeling of a full stomach.
This treatment method is a non-surgical and non-medicamentous method and the advantage of the method is a very low risk of complications. The gastric balloon may be used as an independent method for lowering body weight but also before other different surgeries to reduce the risks of surgery. In the case of extreme obesity, bariatric surgeries cannot be performed because of technical reasons. To obtain better results, the gastric balloon may be used several times with small intervals.
The BioEnterics® intragastric balloon (BIB®) programme helps to change your body and lifestyle in a safe and effective way, thus improving your health and quality of life.
On the day of the gastric balloon procedure, your team will prepare you for endoscopic deployment of the balloon which usually takes about 20-30 minutes. The procedure will be performed under vein-narcosis or general anaesthesia, and under the control of an anaesthesiologist.
Before the procedure your doctor checks your stomach with an endoscope. An empty balloon is inserted through your mouth into your stomach. After the balloon has been deployed and filled with saline or air, you will be monitored in the clinic until your doctor places you in the care of the person who will be looking after you and taking you home.
For the first few days after the gastric balloon procedure you will feel uncomfortable because your stomach is adjusting to the balloon. You may feel nauseous, you may vomit, and you may experience flatulence, diarrhoea or stomach cramps until your body adjusts to the device. These conditions are normal and can be expected. Your doctor will give you strict guidelines about administering water during this period. It is extremely important to drink lots of water during the first couple of days, and you should avoid eating solid foods.
During the first three days you must follow a diet of liquid foods that includes the following:
You should avoid:
Starting with solid foods
After a few days of liquid diet you are ready to start with solid foods. Before eating solid foods you should eat half-solid foods. The speed of change depends on your success and how well your body accepts the fluids. It is important that the change is happening slowly and that you are not trying to hasten the adjustment process. During that time, the Nutrition Specialist may recommend you eat the following:
The following six months
After the first two weeks your body has adjusted to the gastric balloon DEPLOYED INTO THE STOMACH. You will follow the nutrition plan and once again deal with your daily activities.
During the following six months, it is extremely important to see your doctor to measure your success regarding weight-loss. This period is important to prepare you so that the lost kilograms will not return after removal of the BIB. Remember that the BIB is simply a ‘training device’ – like training wheels on a bicycle. The BIB enables you to apply changes to your lifestyle which you should follow to preserve your the ideal body weight.
The following guidelines help you to be more successful:
The gastric balloon will be removed after a period of six months (or after twelve months), during a 20 minute procedure which is similar to the BIB deployment procedure. During the removal procedure you will be given a sedative and your doctor will remove the air or saline before the empty balloon is removed from the stomach.
The gastric balloon gives you a push to start weight loss, but you now have new possibilities and a new understanding of healthy habits. You are successful in monitoring your eating habits and weight loss.
The balloon may be gone but the life you are currently enjoying motivates you to remain on the path of health and happiness, and never turn back.
To qualify for the BIB-programme:
Additionally, there are certain medical reasons which may make you ineligible for the BIB programme. You are ineligible for the procedure if you have any of the following conditions:
As with all medical procedures there is potential risk for unforeseen, unknown or negative reactions to drugs and procedures. Discuss questions and expectations regarding the BIB programme with your doctor, and consider the benefits and possible risks.
A: You may lose a significant amount of weight, on average 10-25 kg, but the results depend on how well you follow the programme and how you adjust your eating habits.
A: You will experience a feeling of discomfort for the a few days. After this you will mostly feel like you stomach is full.
A: The first three days will be very difficult. Stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting are normal and expected. It is extremely important to follow the advice of your doctor and drink plenty of fluids. Medicines may relieve the uncomfortable feeling.
A: You must plan for at least three inactive days to permit recovery from the procedure. Sooner or later you will be able to continue your normal activity, depending on how fast your body adapts to the BIB.
A: It may be presumed that you will lose more weight with the BIB. As the BIB gives you the feeling of a full stomach, you will control your eating habits and choose healthy choices more easily.
A: You should not plan any strenuous exercise for the first week. When your body has adapted to the BIB, you may continue your normal activity. It is strongly recommended that you start with regular training which will be helpful in being successful.
A: If the BIB leaks, you will notice differences in the colour of your urine (it will be greenish). Although it happens rarely, it can be a serious problem. If you notice a change in the colour of your urine, you should call your doctor immediately. If the BIB has been emptied it will probably pass naturally through your intestines, but in some cases the doctor has to remove it.
A: You can consume alcohol in moderation.
A: You will not like to eat as much as before. Additionally, if you eat fatty foods or sweets you may feel sick. When the BIB has been deployed, eating too much may become dangerous and cause a serious condition.
A: The gastric balloon will be removed through the mouth, exactly the same way as it was deployed. The 20-minute procedure will be performed under vein or general anaesthesia.