July 6th 2017
Over the last few years, since a number of celebrities like Fern Britten and Sharon Osborne have “come out” about having a gastric band, weight loss surgery has been regularly discussed. This isn’t so true for the gastric balloon which remains a fairly unknown non-surgical alternative. So does this mean no-one’s having it done? We get asked quite frequently how popular is the gastric balloon procedure.
The reality is that the gastric balloon is not well known in the UK with weight loss surgery having the lion’s share of media attention and promotion. This is, however, the opposite trend to other European countries who favour the non-surgical balloon over riskier, weight loss surgery options. In fact, the Orbera balloon, which we have chosen as our balloon device, has been implanted almost a quarter of a million times across 80 countries worldwide. As more in the UK find out about it, the number of people benefiting from a non-surgical gastric balloon is growing and it is also proving popular in the United States since it gained FDA approval in 2015.
So what are the benefits of the gastric balloon over, let’s say a gastric band?
- First off, a gastric balloon procedure doesn’t involve surgery. So that means, there’s no incisions, no wounds to heal and no scars!
- Recovery time is much shorter after a gastric balloon than with a surgical procedure. Once the initial feelings of nausea have subsided, most patients feel ready to return to work and normal activities in just a few days.
- The gastric balloon causes no permanent change to your stomach or digestive system. The balloon floats freely in your stomach acting as a portion control tool for 6 months, before it is removed with no lasting change to your body.
- The gastric band works by adjusting the “restriction” of the band which alters how quickly food moves from the stomach pouch into the main stomach below. This is achieved by injecting the port under the skin with saline solution to inflate the band and requires fairly regular clinic visits to achieve the right restriction. The gastric balloon requires no trips to the clinic/hospital other than the implantation and removal procedures.
For more information, take a look at our gastric balloon v weight loss surgery page