Gastric balloon treatment in Leeds
At Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital, we offer a comprehensive gastric balloon treatment plan. Our leading Bariatric team will provide end-to-end support, care and advice throughout your weight loss journey. Read more…
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2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB
Why choose Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital for my gastric balloon procedure?
At the largest private hospital in Yorkshire, our team of bariatric surgeons are pioneers in weight loss surgery. They have performed over 5,000 successful operations and form one of the most experienced bariatric units in the UK.
Located in Leeds city centre, our modern hospital offers the best treatments available and exceptional standards of patient care. We take a holistic and personal approach when it comes to your wellbeing. Weight loss surgery is a life-changing operation, so we want to make sure you have dedicated expert support throughout your journey.
We offer a comprehensive weight loss treatment package that includes:
- End-to-end support from your chosen bariatric specialist surgeon
- Executive car service to and from the hospital
- Nutritional advice from a Nuffield Health dietician
- Lifestyle and behavioural change support from a Nuffield Health psychologist
- A 3-month membership at your local Nuffield Health gym to support a healthy lifestyle.
What is a gastric balloon?
The balloon system consists of a soft, expandable balloon, a placement tube and a filling system. The surgeon inserts the balloon orally and then expands it with sterile saline fluid, once it is placed in your stomach. When full, the balloon is too large to pass into the bowel and will now float freely in your stomach.
Is a gastric balloon right for me?
If your Body Mass Index (BMI) score is over 32, a gastric balloon may help you to achieve long-term weight loss, and the management of other medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
The gastric balloon procedure may be particularly useful for people considered too overweight to undergo vital surgery. The use of the balloon to successfully reduce weight prior to surgery can also help to reduce the risks associated with surgical procedures on overweight patients.
Your consultant will confirm your BMI score and carry out a detailed assessment, before deciding if a gastric balloon is suitable for you.
The benefits of a gastric balloon
If the gastric balloon operation is successful, you should be able to achieve long-term weight loss. However this is dependent on your ability to keep to your new lifestyle. Long-term weight loss should improve any obesity-related health problems too, including:
- Sleep apnoea
However for most people the attraction of having a gastric balloon procedure is that it is minimally invasive, does not involve surgery and it can be done as a day case procedure, meaning a minimal interruption to daily life.
Are there any alternatives to gastric balloons?
There are other surgical options available, such as a sleeve gastrectomy, a gastric bypass or a gastric band. All of these options are major surgical procedures that normally involve a hospital stay. However a gastric balloon has fewer complications in installation and there is a lower risk of serious complications. Recovery in the more invasive procedures is also usually slower.
What does the gastric balloon operation involve?
Gastric balloon installation
- The gastric balloon is introduced into the stomach through the mouth.
- Your surgeon will perform an initial examination of your stomach using an endoscopic camera.
- If no abnormalities are observed, your surgeon will proceed with placement of the balloon through your mouth and down your oesophagus into your stomach.
- The balloon is made of a soft and pliable silicone elastomer material and is inserted while in its smallest, deflated form.
- The swallowing process is made easier with the help of a throat spray which numbs the throat area.
- Muscle relaxing medications are also used.
- Once the balloon is inside your stomach, it is immediately filled with sterile saline through a small filling tube (catheter) attached to the balloon.
- Once filled, your surgeon will remove the catheter by gently pulling on the external end.
- The balloon has a self-sealing valve, and at this point the balloon is floating freely in your stomach.
- Placement times vary, but it will usually take 20-30 minutes, after which you will be monitored by the weight loss surgeon for a short time and then may return home.
How long Is the gastric balloon left in place?
- The balloon may remain in place for 6 months.
- Over time, the acidic content of the stomach will weaken the balloon material and cause the balloon to deflate so longer periods of use are not recommended.
- Should your surgeon recommend use of the balloon for longer than six months, it may be necessary to replace the balloon with a new one when the six-month interval has been met.
- While the balloon is in place, your surgeon may prescribe a course of oral medication to reduce your stomach acid, (this may reduce the possibility of stomach irritation and damage to the balloon).
Gastric balloon removal
- The balloon is normally removed in the same way it was placed, via the mouth.
- As with the placement of the balloon your surgeon will introduce a catheter through your mouth and into your stomach.
- They will then puncture and deflate the balloon.
- Once the balloon is deflated it can be grasped and removed.
Specific complications from gastric balloon may include:
- A feeling of imbalance similar to sea sickness
- Gastric discomfort, nausea and vomiting are common for the first few days following balloon placement
- A feeling of heaviness in your abdomen
- Abdominal or back pain
- Gastro–oesophageal reflux or indigestion may also occur
- There is a theoretical (and rare) risk that the balloon could rupture. In this case it would usually pass through the bowel and be expelled naturally.
How soon will I recover from the gastric balloon procedure?
- You should usually be able to go home the same day assuming your have no serious adverse reaction to the balloon
- In the first few weeks you will only be able to take liquids, progressing to soft food and then to solid food
- You should be able to return to work after one to two days depending on how your stomach adjusts to having a foreign object present
- Sometimes the balloon causes nausea but this will normally subside in a day or two.
A number of our weight loss consultants offer complimentary one-to-one’s, please contact us on: 0113 388 2067 for details.
Two decades of unhealthy eating had made Alison obese, diabetic and unhappy. She came to Nuffield Health desperate for a solution that might finally work. This is her story.