Like many expeditions, the Gastric Balloon Weight Loss Programs have key stages which you will follow on your weight loss journey.
THE GASTRIC BALLOON JOURNEY
Preparation. Placement. Recovery.
The first consultation with your doctor will involve discussions about:
- Your medical history
- Your previous attempts at losing weight
- Your personal goals
- Your commitment to the program
- How comfortable you feel about the whole process
Once you begin a Gastric Balloon Weight Loss Program, you’ll be meeting with the New York Bariatric Group’s professional support team who will guide you through the principles that will become the basis of your success.
On the day of the procedure, the NYBG team will place the belly balloon:
Saline filled Balloons (Orbera) – endoscopic placement of the gastric balloon takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes, after which patients are monitored by specialists in the recovery bay.
You will be lightly sedated while the deflated gastric balloon is inserted into your stomach through your mouth. Immediately following the placement of the balloon, it is filled with sterile saline.
You will remain in the office under observation until your doctor discharges you into the care of another person.
This is generally an uncomplicated process. Nevertheless, over the first few days post-procedure you may experience gastric discomfort, nausea and vomiting as the digestive system adjusts to the presence of the gastric balloon.
Gas filled Balloons (Obalon) – The Obalon balloon is swallowed with water and/or applesauce. The balloon is then confirmed to be inside the stomach either via x-ray or by using the Obalon navigation system. The balloon is then inflated with gas using a computerized inflation device. The catheter is then disconnected from the balloon. Three balloons are placed at least 2 weeks apart.
This is a simple procedure and you can usually return to work the same day as the procedure. The advantage of the Obalon balloon is that there is minimal nausea or abdominal discomfort after placement because three balloons are placed over a 4 week period.
Important things to remember
As with any medical procedure, you need to be aware of any possible complications. Your doctor will advise you on what to look out for.
Some important things to organize beforehand are:
- No solid foods or liquids 12 hours prior to the procedure
- Arrange to have someone with you when you return home after saline filled balloons
- Stock your kitchen with the necessary post-procedure foods and liquids as instructed by your dietician
- Plan for at least 48-72 hours of inactivity after the saline filled balloon
- With the gas filled Obalon™ balloon you can usually return to work the same day
In the first few days following the procedure, you may feel uncomfortable as the stomach gets used to the presence of the Gastric Balloon.
Predictable side effects most patients experience include nausea, vomiting and gastric discomfort over the first week with saline filled balloons. Mild nausea or gastric discomfort with gas filled balloons. These symptoms can be managed by the prescriptions provided by your doctor. These conditions are normal and should be expected.
Your doctor will provide strict instructions for your hydration regimen during this period. It is critical that you drink plenty of water during the first few days and avoid eating any solid foods.
You’ll be restricted to a liquid diet for the first three days, which might include: Juices, milk, thin soups or broths and/or gelatin. The following foods will need to be avoided: Coffee, fizzy drinks, fatty foods, chocolate and ice cream.
These important educational aspects of the program involve the nutrition and lifestyle changes that you must follow in order to achieve long-term success. Your regular meetings with the support team will continue for three months after the gastric balloon is removed. All patients in the New York Bariatric Group belly balloon program are enrolled in the VHPGO by Virtual Healthcare Partners for 12 months. Dr. Shawn Garber is a cofounder of this company. With VHPGO, patients make appointments with the nutritionist through an app. At the time of the appointment you just click a button in the app and you are video connected for a live one on one session with the nutritionist from wherever you are.
All sessions are recorded for you to play back and remind yourself of the nutritional guidelines to obtain the best results. Patients can send unlimited messages to the nutritionist through the app. There is an on-demand library of videos you can watch on exercise programs, recipes, meal plans, behavioral modification. You keep track of your daily food intake through the app as well and see your daily calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein to review during your nutritionist meetings. There is also weekly online support groups as well. Patients that use VHPGO have better results.