Gastric balloons are generally deemed safe; however, like any medical procedure, they do entail certain risks. While serious complications are infrequent, they may encompass balloon deflation, gastrointestinal obstruction, or infection. It is our priority to be transparent and ensure that you possess comprehensive knowledge regarding potential side effects.
It is important to note that the side effects experienced with gastric balloons are a natural response of your body to the presence of a foreign object in the stomach. Most side effects are transient and typically subside within 3-4 days. Patients generally recover and return to normalcy shortly thereafter.
Nausea and vomiting are common side effects following the procedure, affecting approximately 95% of individuals. These symptoms typically abate within 2 to 3 days but may lead to dehydration if not effectively managed. Depending on your clinician’s specific approach and protocols, they may recommend a brief inpatient stay of up to 48 hours after balloon insertion to closely monitor and address early symptoms. This may involve the administration of intravenous fluids and medication to alleviate nausea and vomiting.
Stomach cramps are another frequent side effect within the initial 48 hours after the procedure. The presence of the balloon may irritate the muscles of the stomach wall, resulting in gripping pains. Although these cramps can be uncomfortable, they are generally short-lived and ameliorate as the stomach adapts to the balloon. Consuming a liquid diet can help alleviate the cramps. If you experience sensations of fullness, bloating, or retching, lying on your left side and gently massaging your abdomen upward beneath your ribs can aid in repositioning the gastric balloon. In cases of severe pain and cramping, medication can be prescribed to alleviate discomfort.