Every medical procedure carries risks, and gastric balloons are no exception. While serious adverse events are rare, complications such as balloon deflation, gastrointestinal obstruction, or infection can occur. We prioritise transparency and ensure that our patients are well-informed about potential side effects. It’s important to understand that these side effects are a natural reaction of your body to the presence of a foreign object in your stomach. Although individual experiences may vary, most side effects typically last for 3-4 days, and patients generally start feeling back to normal soon after.
Nausea and vomiting are common after a gastric balloon procedure, affecting approximately 95% of individuals. These symptoms can persist for 2 to 3 days following the procedure and may lead to dehydration. Some clinicians may recommend a short inpatient stay of up to 48 hours after balloon insertion to closely monitor and manage early symptoms. This may involve administering intravenous fluids and medication to control nausea and vomiting until the symptoms subside. However, the necessity of an inpatient stay depends on the specific approach and protocols followed by your supervising clinician. They will discuss this aspect with you, considering your unique circumstances.
Stomach cramps are a common side effect within the first 48 hours after the gastric balloon procedure. The presence of the balloon may irritate the muscles of the stomach wall, resulting in griping pains. While these cramps can be uncomfortable, they are usually short-lived and improve as the stomach adjusts to the balloon. Following a liquid diet can help alleviate the cramps. If you experience feelings of fullness, bloating, or retching, lying on your left side and gently massaging your abdomen upward beneath your ribs may help reposition the gastric balloon. In cases of severe pain and cramping, medication can be prescribed to provide relief.