What is a gastric balloon and how does it work?
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What is a gastric balloon and how does it work?

Gastric band surgery is often used as a last resort for weight loss, given that the risks and complications can be pretty severe. However, an invention by a Harvard graduate for a weight loss procedure that is temporary and far less invasive but yet has the same concept behind it, could provide a far better alternative.

It may sound like science fiction, but the Elipse Balloon works by swallowing a small capsule that inflates once it reaches your stomach, creating an instant feeling of fullness. There’s no need for removal as, after four months, the balloon deflates and passes naturally through your gastrointestinal tract.

The process sounds pretty straightforward, but what exactly does it involve? How much weight can you expect to lose? And, is a gastric balloon right for your unique weight loss journey?

So, how does it work?

Patients swallow a pill-like capsule that inflates to an apple’s size and sits at the top of the stomach, making you feel like you’re already full.

The consultant will then take an X-ray of the stomach before filling the balloon through a catheter with 550ml of water. A second X-ray will ensure that the balloon is filled and sitting correctly in the stomach before carrying on with your daily activities as usual.

Unlike other weight loss treatments on the market, the Elipse doesn’t require surgery, endoscopy or anaesthesia. In fact, the entire process takes as little as just 20 minutes.

Multidisciplinary support at every stage

Having the balloon fitted is just one part of a six-month programme during which patients receive ongoing medical and nutritional support.

For the first several days post-procedure, your doctor will advise you to remain on a liquid diet whilst the balloon acclimatises to the stomach. After this time, you can start eating regular foods once again. Monthly nutritional sessions will guide you through recommendations for healthy meals and supplements to help you stay on track.

The idea of the four-month placement period is that by the time the balloon is passed out, you’ll be used to feeling satisfied with smaller amounts of food. The balloon is just one element of a much broader picture. Yes, it helps to kick-start weight loss but more importantly, it builds a solid foundation to a much healthier and fulfilled lifestyle.

Effective results

On average, people lose 10kg to 15kg with the Elipse Balloon. It’s important that patients also implement a healthier lifestyle and eating habits, make better food choices and commit to regular exercise to ensure lasting results even after the balloon has long passed.

It’s also possible to have another placement after your first Elipse balloon has passed if your doctor recommends additional weight loss. The maximum weight loss achieved was an incredible 48kgs in just twelve months.

At the end of your Elipse programme, you will be equipped with all the tools that you need to continue your healthy lifestyle habits for good. A clinical study with 509 patients showed that 95% of average weight loss with Elipse could be sustained at a 12-month follow-up.

Is it right for you?

The Elipse balloon is an excellent option for anyone with a BMI of 27 or more who would like to boost weight loss and implement healthier lifestyle habits that stick around for the long run. It may also be possible for somebody who wants to lose a moderate amount of weight in a specific amount of time – for example, if they’re getting married.

The balloon is also an excellent tool to help someone achieve a safer weight who is currently morbidly obese and trying to have another surgery.

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    Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.

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