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What is a Gastric Balloon and can i get it in Thailand?

Updated: Jan 4

Do you struggle with weight loss? When workouts and diets produce minimal results, the gastric balloon is a surgical option to quickly lose weight. But what is it and is it right for you?

In this post, we cover everything you need to know. Keep reading to learn more!

What is a Gastric Balloon and how does it work?

As mentioned above, the gastric balloon or intragastric balloon, is a medical option for weight loss. It’s a saline-filled silicone balloon that is placed inside the patient’s stomach and works by making the patient feel fuller throughout meals. The space taken up by the balloon allows the patient to limit food intake, thereby making it easier for them to limit food consumption.

Like many other weight loss procedures, it is important to note that even with the placement of the gastric balloon, a commitment to a healthier lifestyle is necessary in order to see results.

Who should consider the Gastric Balloon Procedure?

Gastric balloons like allurion, are typically used as a final weight loss option if exercise and diet change isn’t working. After a screening, your doctor will determine if you are an ideal candidate for the procedure.

Generally, this procedure is best suited for people who have a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 40 and haven’t had any prior stomach or esophageal surgeries.

Allurion vs. Orbera

Allurion and Orbera are the two most common options for gastric ballons and these options are of cause also offered by leading experts in Bangkok.

The Allurion Balloon device is a non-surgical weight loss aid designed for individuals who are struggling with obesity and have not achieved their weight loss goals through diet and exercise alone. It's quite an innovative tool in the sense that it requires no surgery, endoscopy, or anesthesia for placement. The balloon is swallowed in a capsule attached to a thin tube, and once it's in the stomach, it's filled with saline. This filling process is monitored by X-ray to ensure proper placement and filling. The idea behind the balloon is to occupy space in the stomach, which helps you feel fuller faster and longer after smaller meals. Now, here's the unique part: the Allurion Balloon is designed to self-deflate after approximately 4 months. Once it deflates, it passes naturally through the gastrointestinal tract and is excreted. This design reduces the need for an additional procedure to remove the balloon.

The Orbera Balloon is another type of gastric balloon aimed at weight loss. Similar to the Allurion, the Orbera Balloon is placed into the stomach through a non-surgical procedure using an endoscope. It's then filled with saline to the size of a grapefruit. The presence of this balloon serves the same purpose as the Allurion – to help you feel fuller with less food, encouraging portion control and aiding in weight loss. The key difference with the Orbera Balloon is its duration in the stomach. It's designed to stay in place for up to 6 months. After this period, it must be removed, and this requires an endoscopic procedure. A removal is necessary because the Orbera does not deflate on its own, unlike the Allurion.

How is a gastric balloon procedure done in Thailand?

After getting the ‘ok’ from your doctor, you may be required to take certain steps in order to prepare for the procedure. Some of these steps could include restriction to food, drink, medication, and implementing a new exercise program.

The doctor will load the balloon into a thin catheter and snake the balloon down your throat and into your stomach. Once the balloon has reached the patient’s stomach, the doctor will then proceed by placing a flexible tube attached to a camera (endoscope) down the throat and into the stomach as well, to assist with the process of filling the gastric balloon with saline.

The purpose of the camera is to allow the doctor to see what he is doing, since the procedure takes place inside the body. During the entire procedure, the patient will be sedated. Typically, the gastric balloon procedure takes about a half-hour, due to its minimal invasiveness. If everything goes smoothly, you can find yourself walking out of the hospital two hours after the surgery is completed.

The average price for the gastric balloon procedure in Thailand is around 200,000 BAHT (6,000 USD).

Recovery and Results

After the placement of the gastric balloon, you will most likely be put on a liquid diet up until the start of the second week post placement. After reaching that point, your doctor will then move you to soft foods. Around the three-week mark, post placement, you can then begin eating regular foods.

During the time in which the balloon is placed inside your stomach, you will be required to have regular communication with your medical team and a nutritionist.

Typically, the gastric balloon can stay in the stomach for up to six months. At the six month mark, the balloon is removed using the same technique in which it was placed (endoscope.)

Once removed, your doctor will follow the plan set in motion at the beginning of the process by either replacing the balloon or not.

After recovery, it is up to the patient to take advantage of this weight loss helper. Though the balloon will help the patient get fuller faster, there must be a significant change to diet and lifestyle in order to experience full weight loss results. Through the gastric balloon and lifestyle change, patients typically see a 7% to 15% loss of weight within the six month period the procedure was in place.

If you’re interested in having the gastric balloon procedure done in Thailand, Azami can help you plan your procedure. Let us connect you with the best gastric balloon specialists in Bangkok and beyond, so you can feel confident about your medical treatment in Thailand!



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