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Gastric Balloon Side Effects

It is completely understandable that if you are a considering a gastric balloon procedure, you will want to know about any potential side-effects or complications, as well as any positive weight loss benefits. We ensure that throughout the enquiry stage, you are fully informed about the balloon procedure, the weight loss you could expect and any risks of the gastric balloon procedure that could arise. We list the main side-effects below:

endoscopic gastric balloons

Immediate side effects of a gastric balloon:

We are very honest about side-effects and always prepare our patients for a difficult few days after the balloon procedure as we firmly believe that this helps you to tolerate the balloon better. These feelings are a result of your body’s natural defence against the balloon as a foreign object in the stomach but they only tend to last for 3-4 days before the body adjusts and the feelings subside.

  • Nausea – most patients will experience feelings of nausea and many liken it to the feeling you get with sea-sickness. We give you strong anti-sickness medication to reduce these symptoms and many patients say a travel sickness band can also help.
  • Vomiting – some patients also experience vomiting. The anti-sickness medication will help with this but we also have a number of tips to help you ensure that you remain sufficiently hydrated until the vomiting subsides after a day or two.
  • Stomach cramps – occasionally patients experience cramping which can be uncomfortable but these are usually short lived and improve once the stomach adjusts to the balloon


Potential complications of a gastric balloon:

The gastric balloon is a very safe, non-surgical procedure but as with any procedure, there is a chance of experiencing a complication and no matter how small the risk, we need to make you aware.

  • Intolerance – In a very small number of cases, patients feel unable to tolerate the side effects of the balloon and ask for it to be removed. For patients that are struggling, we can try many things with medication and hydration to manage your symptoms before we consider removal as a very last resort.
  • Rupture – we are regularly asked whether the balloon can burst and although we have to make you aware that this is a possibility, the risk is very small. As a precaution, when the balloon is filled at implantation, a harmless blue methylene dye is added so if your urine were to turn green, this would indicate a rupture and a removal procedure would be arranged.

If you are considering a weight loss procedure, the gastric balloon is the safest procedure available with the lowest risk of complications. Unlike surgical procedures, there are of course no incisions so no wounds or scars and importantly no internal changes to your stomach or digestive system.