diet & weight loss

Gastric balloon | Procedure | Balloon cost | Gastric balloon in the UK | NHS treatment | Risks and side effects

What are the risks and side effects from a gastric balloon operation?

All forms of surgery carry some degree of risk, and a gastric balloon operation is no exception. Side effects and complications can occur, some of which can prove to be very serious.

The most common side effects of a gastric balloon are relatively minor gastric complaints such as acid reflux, temporary abdominal discomfort, and feelings of nausea. In most cases, these will pass after a few weeks but in some instances the problems can prove more permanent in nature.

A more serious complication arising from the procedure is internal bleeding or perforation. Despite a surgeon's best efforts, he may accidentally damage the area into which the balloon is inserted. This may heel on it's own, but occasionally surgery will be required.

The balloon procedure may also cause infection but this is a risk you take with any form of surgery. However, a good surgeon at a well maintained clinic or hospital can reduce the likelihood such a side effect developing.

Perhaps the main risk of a gastric balloon operation, is the possibility of intestinal obstruction. This can occur when a partially deflated balloon passes nto the small bowel. If this problem is left untreated, it can have serious health implications, sometimes even death.

However, the side effects of a gastric balloon are generally less than those associated with other obesity procedures such as a gastric bypass. If you are worried about things going wrong, talk to your doctor and surgeon. A little reassure may be all you need to put your mind at ease.

Common Bariatrics Questions

What are the side effects of a gastrointestinal bypass operation?

How much pain will I experience during or after a stomach banding procedure?

Fertility & Pregnancy


Artificial insemination
Learn about the costs, risks and probability of success from this infertility procedure.

Treatment abroad
What you need to know about having fertility treatment overseas.

Gender selection
A guide to the legal and moral aspects of choosing the sex of your baby.

Diet & Weight Loss