Some people find it much more difficult than others to lose weight – even through regular exercise and a calorie controlled diet - and this can have a impact on both their physical and mental health.
A gastric balloon, which lies in your stomach for up to six months is intended to limit the amount you can eat. It can help you lose sufficient weight to benefit your health. The procedure, which takes 20-30 minutes, can also help get your weight down to a level so you can become a candidate for other long term weight loss procedures such as a gastric band.
We also offer the Allurion Programme. A gastric balloon requiring no surgery that can help you lose weight.
At Spire Bushey Hospital our team of weight loss surgeons have a wealth of experience to help you take back control of your body, your health and your life.
Our packages also include a weight loss support group to help patients before, during and after their weight loss journey.
Being overweight has a significant impact on your health - both physically and mentally. It can lead to low self esteem, limit your involvement in sports or other activities that could help you regain fitness, prevent you from joining in family fun and lead to time off work through illness or extreme tiredness.
An intragastric balloon, or gastric balloon, is an inflatable prosthetic device, that is used as a temporary aid to achieving weight loss in patients with moderate obesity. It is less invasive than other surgical weight loss procedures. A deflated soft balloon is inserted into your stomach by a thin, flexible telescope called an endoscope and then inflated.
The gastric balloon aims to provide a short-term solution if you are struggling to lose weight even after making a real commitment to lifestyle changes, such as a calorie-controlled diet. It can help you lose weight relatively quickly by making your stomach feel fuller for longer after eating relatively small meals.
It can help boost your self-confidence and achieve some health benefits while losing enough weight to become a candidate for longer term weight loss procedures such as a gastric band.
You can usually go home the same day although sometimes people need to stay in hospital overnight.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
At Spire Bushey Hospital you can expect to receive expert, tailored care from one of our highly skilled weight loss surgeons. You will be able to choose a specialist bariatric consultant.
You will also meet our Dietitian Gill Cuffaro. She provides dietary counselling and support for patients undergoing gastric balloons, gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass.
You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
We’ve tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information page.
Attempting to cut down on your food intake and increase your exercise will help you get better results and achieve your desired outcome. If you can start these changes before the procedure it will help you become accustomed to them more quickly once the balloon is fitted. Our dietitians can provide you with support and advice.
Even relatively straightforward procedures like this one can understandably make you nervous. Our dedicated and caring team will be here for you every step of the way.
The procedure takes around 20-30 minutes and is performed under local anaesthetic (a throat spray) and / or sedation so you are relaxed but awake. The gastric balloon is inserted in the mouth and oesophagus through endoscopy (threading a thin telescopic instrument down your throat) directly into your stomach and then inflated with saline to produce artificial bulk in the stomach. This fills a part of your stomach, which should help to make you feel full for longer which in turn reduces your ability to consume large volumes of food or fluid in one intake.
As this procedure is only aimed at providing a temporary weight loss solution, the balloon is only left in situation for a maximum of six months.
You will usually be able to go home the same day, or the day after depending on how nauseous you're feeling.
You'll need a friend or relative to take you home as you might still be feeling drowsy from the sedative.
After this, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.
Our team of dietitians and specialist nurses will look after you throughout your stay and provide support and advice after treatment.
It may take your stomach a few days to get used to the balloon. Some patients experience one or more of the following during this time:
We will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital, up to 14 days. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.
For the first three days to a week you should stick to a liquid diet - e.g water, juice, milk, thin soup and jelly - please follow the instructions provided by your consultant and dietitians.
Gradually your tolerance of most types of food will improve, but you should feel like eating less than before you had the procedure.
You should take it easy the first few days - take a few days off of work and move around gently. You may also be advised not to take part in strenuous activity for eight weeks.
In a small number of cases, patients may not be able to tolerate the balloon for the full six months. 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. If this happens we will remove it early with your consent.
As you won't be engaging in strenuous activity for at least eight weeks it is important you talk to a friend or relative about how they can support you with the daily necessities.
It's also important that your relatives or whoever is supporting you during the first few days after the procedure understand what the side effects are. If they're buying or preparing food for you, you should show them the diet advice we will give you.
Even after you've left hospital we're still looking every step of the way. You'll need to attend regular follow-up appointments with members of the weight-loss team. For example, the dietician may make an appointment to see you one week after the balloon has been placed.
You'll be booked in for an appointment to have the balloon removed around six months after your operation and that will be further opportunity to discuss your weight loss.
On occasion, people have complications that go beyond the expected stomach discomfort and vomiting. For example, It is possible for the balloon to deflate or leak but most people are unaffected. If you experience any of these symptoms – severe bloating, stomach pain or a change in the colour of your urine – call us straight away. Your consultant will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.
If you are having or have had weight loss surgery at Spire Bushey, you will be able to attend the free monthly weight loss support group. Our support group allows patients the chance to share their experiences and support each other in a safe and friendly environment. Our patients say that one of the key factors in helping them to maintain their weight loss is the encouragement from other patients who have been through a similar journey.
The support group is also open to those who are thinking about having weight loss surgery and want to find out more about it from other weight loss surgery patients to gain their perspective. If this is of interest please call 020 8901 5505 and the team will book your place free of charge.
If you are thinking about having weight loss surgery and want to find out more about it from other weight loss surgery patients then you are welcome to attend one of the support group sessions free of charge. Find out more about our support group.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
At Spire Bushey Hospital we appreciate how difficult it is to successfully lose weight and keep it off in a healthy way, we are proud to have a group of leading experts to help you achieve your weight loss goals. The team is made up of four leading weight loss surgeons who perform a range of weight loss surgeries on a regular basis, our registered dietitian provides individual patients with tailored dietary advice and support specific to patients’ needs. Together they have helped many patients to transform their lives.
We also provide patients with the opportunity to meet and interact with other patients through our free monthly support group. Of the support group, one patient said:
"The support and friendship that is offered by the group has been invaluable and has really contributed to my excellent progress." – Mrs C, three years post gastric sleeve achieved an eight stone weight loss.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
Spire Bushey Hospital is situated within easy access of the M1 and M25 motorways. We are only 15 miles from London, 45 minutes drive from Luton airport and around five miles from Watford town centre, with its fast and regular train services to the capital.
COVID-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service at Spire Bushey Hospital.