Common Questions about the Orbera™ Weight Loss Balloon Procedure

What exactly is Orbera™?
Orbera™ is not a magic pill, but a tool to help change your lifestyle - an intragastric balloon device to help kick-start your weight loss.

How will my weight-loss results compare with other diet programs?
A number of research studies suggest you can expect to lose more weight with Orbera™. You should feel full sooner and longer after small meals (a result of the intragastric balloon placed in your stomach) and be better able to control your eating and make healthy changes in your eating habits.

How is the intragastric balloon device placed and removed from my stomach without surgery?
Placement of the balloon generally takes about 20-30 minutes during which you will be lightly sedated. The deflated balloon is inserted into your stomach through your mouth (endoscopically). Shortly after the balloon is placed and filled with sterile salt water (saline), you will regain complete awareness and remain in the clinic for observation until the doctor discharges you. The intragastric balloon is removed through the mouth in a similar manner, under the same supervised conditions.

Will this intragastric balloon device limit my activity?
The first week you should not plan any heavy activity. Once your body has adjusted to the intragastric balloon however, you can continue your normal activities. Starting a regular exercise program is highly recommended and will improve your chances of success.

After the initial settling period, can I eat anything I want? Are there specific food or alcohol restrictions?
You will not feel like eating as much as you used to. In addition, if you eat fatty foods or sweets, you may feel sick or nauseous. Excessive overeating while the intragastric balloon is in place can be dangerous. Alcohol in moderation is fine.

What about side effects or complications?
The first three to five days can be very difficult. Cramping, nausea and vomiting are normal and should be expected. It is very important that you follow your doctor’s instructions and drink plenty of fluids. Your doctor may prescribe you medications to help ease the discomfort. In a small number of cases, patients may not be able to tolerate the balloon for the full 6 month period and when this happens, it will need to be removed early. There is a possibility this may happen in the first few days after the balloon is placed, if side effects (including nausea and vomiting) do not resolve or are worse than anticipated. Your consultant will be able to answer any further questions you have about risks and benefits.

Why can the device only be used for 6 months?
Orbera™ intragastric balloon must be removed after six months. If the intragastric balloon is not removed at this time interval, it can leak and deflate. If so, it will likely pass through your body naturally, however in some cases it may need to be removed by your doctor.

How quickly will I lose the weight?
The time frame for weight loss will vary from patient to patient. However, research to date has shown that a patient’s weight loss mainly occurs during the first three months of treatment.

Will I regain the weight after the Orbera™ intragastric balloon is removed?
Limited data is available on how many patients regain weight after the balloon is removed, but patients who permanently alter their eating behaviour and adopt an exercise regimen are likely to see the greatest and most sustained success. There are no miracles in weight loss.

How long will it take to recover after the procedure?

You should plan at least three days of inactivity to recover from the procedure. You will be able to resume normal activity sooner or later than this depending on how quickly your body adjusts to the intragastric balloon.

Will I be able to feel the intragastric balloon in my stomach?
There will be discomfort during the first few days. After that, the primary sensation of the device is a feeling of fullness.

Our Bariatric Specialists

  •  Suzanne Egan - Specialist Bariatric Nurse

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