One potential drawback of gastric balloons is the possibility of weight regain after the balloon is removed. To mitigate this risk, it is crucial for patients to collaborate with a dietitian and implement necessary diet and lifestyle changes while the balloon is in place. These changes should continue to be followed even after the balloon is removed, ensuring a sustainable approach to weight management. By maintaining the recommended diet and lifestyle modifications, individuals can maximise the long-term benefits of the gastric balloon procedure.
Negative aspects of a gastric balloon procedure include the potential for complications and side effects. While serious adverse events are rare, there are risks involved, such as balloon deflation, gastrointestinal obstruction, or infection. It is essential for patients to be well-informed about these possibilities. It’s important to note that these side effects are a natural response of the body to the presence of a foreign object in the stomach. Most individuals experience these side effects for a duration of 3-4 days, after which they typically start feeling back to normal.
Nausea and vomiting are common after the procedure, affecting approximately 95% of patients. These symptoms can last for 2 to 3 days and may lead to dehydration. In some cases, a short inpatient stay of up to 48 hours after balloon insertion may be recommended to closely monitor and manage these early symptoms. During this time, intravenous fluids and medication can be administered to control nausea and vomiting until the symptoms subside. The necessity of an inpatient stay depends on the specific approach and protocols followed by your healthcare provider, and they will discuss this aspect with you, taking into account your unique circumstances.
Stomach cramps are another common side effect within the first 48 hours after the gastric balloon procedure. The presence of the balloon can irritate the muscles of the stomach wall, resulting in griping pains. While these cramps can be uncomfortable, they are typically 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.