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Potential Risks with the Gastric Balloon Procedure

The Orbera Intragastric Gastric Balloon procedure is a non-surgical weight loss procedure that is an effective alternative for individuals who do not want to (or are not able to) undergo surgery. It involves the insertion of a deflated silicone balloon endoscopically which is then filled with 600-700ml of saline.

The gastric balloon reduces food holding capacity in the stomach and remains in the stomach for a period of 6 months, but part of a 12 month medically supervised lifestyle program, designed to help patients with ongoing weight loss and maintenance.

The Orbera balloon has few complications, however as with any procedure, there is always a degree of risk. While the gastric balloon procedure is completely reversable and doesn’t involve surgical incisions, sometimes complications can occur:

  • Patients can experience discomfort and reflux while the balloon is in place
  • The balloon can deflate if left in the stomach too long and if not removed in a timely fashion, can cause serious problems such as rupturing
  • Patients will typically experience nausia and/or vomiting within the first 12-48 hours, however these symptoms should subside. It is the body’s automatic response to try and reject the balloon however patients are given medication to alleviate these symptoms. 

Patients are required to attend follow up appointments and check-ups in the first 6 months to make sure the balloon is comfortable and that everything is going according to plan. 

Find out more about the Orbera Gastric Balloon procedure or hear some patient success stories