A gastric balloon operation will be performed under sedation or general anesthesia. However, increasingly, sedation has become the method of choice in order to reduce recovery times and avoid potential anesthesia related complications.
The treatment involves inserting the deflated balloon into the stomach via a long tube through the mouth. The balloon is then inflated with saline through a small catheter.
The entire gastric balloon procedure takes less than thirty minutes, and patients should experience little or no pain. When sedation is used, some people feel mild discomfort when the balloon is inserted.
The gastric balloon procedure is fully reversible. Indeed, the balloon can only be left in place for a maximum of six months as the acidic content of the stomach will gradually weaken its structure.
Gastric balloon surgery is less invasive than other forms of obesity surgery. In many cases, patients are able to return home the same day. However, if a general anesthetic has been used, a one night stay in hospital is the norm. Full recovery from the operation will usually take seven days but some people do take considerably longer.
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