Need To Lose Weight But Don't Want Invasive Surgery? What You Need To Know About Weight Loss Balloons

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If your BMI is in the obese range, then you likely know that you need to lose weight to reduce your chances of weight-related health problems and improve any health conditions you have developed due to your weight.  While the keys to losing weight are always diet and exercise, it is not always easy to begin an exercise plan when you suffer from joint pain or mobility problems, and sticking to a strict diet can be tough when your stomach is always growling and "telling" you it wants food. However, you may not want to obtain gastric bypass surgery due to fear of complications that can become deadly. Thankfully, if you are obese, there is a new way your doctor can help you lose weight, so read on to learn more about it. 

Non-Surgical Weight Loss Balloons: Their History & Who Qualifies

While gastric balloons have been in use in other countries, including Australia and the UK, for quite a few years now, two types of gastric balloons were approved by the FDA for use in the United States in July of 2015. Their track record of safety likely influenced the FDA's decision to approve them along with the growing need for new ways to treat obesity, especially non-surgical methods. 

Unlike gastric bypass surgery or gastric sleeve surgery, the BMI requirements for gastric balloons are not quite as high. This means that some people who do not weigh enough to qualify for weight loss surgeries may qualify for gastric balloons. This can help you if you are obese, yet don't weigh quite enough to qualify for weight loss surgery. 

How Weight Loss Balloons Are Placed 

You may be wondering: how are balloons placed in a stomach non-surgically? While not exactly the same, gastric balloon placement is similar to how many saline breast implants are placed. When many cosmetic surgeons place saline breast implants, they insert the empty silicone shell of the implant through a small incision on a woman's breast and then fill the implant with saline water after it is already in place. 

However, when doctors are placing weight loss balloons, no incision is required, because their shells are inserted through a patient's mouth right into their stomach. The surgeon uses a long, flexible tool with a camera at the end of it, which is called an endoscope, to place the balloon. Once the balloon is placed in a patient's stomach, it is then filled with a harmless, sterile salt-water solution. While the balloons have strong shells and do not break, if one were to, the solution inside would simply be absorbed in the stomach just like a beverage would be.

How Much Weight You Can Expect to Lose With a Gastric Balloon

Now that you know how easy it is for a doctor to place a gastric balloon, you may wonder how much weight you can loose with one in place. In a clinical study, the average amount of weight lost per person was a little over 21 pounds. However, remember that how much weight you lose may differ from the average, and if you stick to a very healthy diet during the six months you have the balloon in place (you are required to have it taken out after six months), you can lose much more. 

If you have a BMI of 30-40, then the gastric balloon offers a safe new way to help you lose weight without invasive surgery. Speak to your doctor about this new option to see if he or she thinks it is right for you.