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What is a Gastric Pill Balloon?

● A gastric pill balloon is a gastric balloon used for non-surgical weight loss by placing it in the stomach by swallowing. It remains in the stomach for 16 weeks and is excreted out of the body naturally. During this period, patients can easily lose 10-15 kgs.

● It is different from the conventional gastric balloon procedure that needs an endoscopy for the insertion of the balloon at the starting and removal at the end of the treatment.

● After positioning the balloon in the stomach, it is filled with saline to increase its size resulting in a reduction in the size of the gastric cavity.

● Qualified patients can take the advantage of gastric balloon pill option without any surgery, endoscopic procedure or anaesthesia to place it in the stomach.

● This is a same-day procedure and the patient can go home after the treatment.

Why is a Gastric Pill Balloon needed?

● The gastric balloon is a safe and effective option for weight loss in patients who are not losing weight with regular diet or exercise and are not qualified for weight-loss surgeries.

● It is an effective non-surgical weight loss option to prevent the complications of excess weight like:

○ Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

○ Heart disease or stroke

○ High blood pressure

○ Obstructive sleep apnoea

○ Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

○ Type 2 diabetes

○ Immobility due to excess weight

Are You Eligible for a Gastric Pill Balloon?

● The patient is eligible for a gastric pill balloon procedure if:

○ The patient is above 18 years of age.

○ The BMI index of the patient is between 30 to 40.

○ The patient has no history of stomach or oesophageal surgery

○ The patient is unable to lose weight with regular exercise and diet

○ The patient is not qualified or do not want to go for the surgical option for weight loss

● Finally, the doctor will decide whether the gastric pill balloon procedure is right for the patient or not. Before deciding on the procedure, screening of the digestive tract is performed for the effective results and prevention of complications of gastric pill balloon.

Why choose MEDSTAR for Gastric Pill Balloon treatment? The MEDSTAR Advantage

At MEDSTAR, our patients get the advantage of a non-surgical procedure of gastric pill balloon along with the full care and support by our certified clinical team of the Obesity and Weight Loss department. Our clinical team is certified and experienced in providing weight loss treatment. We also provide a range of procedures for physical assessment, lifestyle modifications and behavioural counselling to enhance the weight loss results for the patient.

How is the Gastric Pill Balloon procedure performed?

● In this procedure, a gastric pill balloon of the size slightly bigger than an antibiotic capsule is swallowed by the patient under the supervision of a certified doctor. This pill is attached to a thin tube that helps in filling the balloon with saline after its placement in the stomach.

● Before filling the balloon with saline, an x-ray is done to see the proper position of the balloon in the stomach.

● The balloon will remain there for 16 weeks resulting in weight loss. After 16 weeks, the balloon deflates by the opening of its valves and it is excreted with the faeces out of the body.

What is the option for Gastric Pill Balloon treatment at MEDSTAR?

Gastric Pill Balloon - Elipse Balloon

● The Elipse balloon system consists of a soft expandable balloon pill slightly larger than an antibiotic capsule, a replacement tube and a filling system. This newest procedure is quick and effective without the need for endoscopy and anaesthesia.

● This procedure is performed as:

○ Pre-consultation: In this step, the surgeon will guide and inform the patient about the process of balloon placement in the stomach and the nutrition coach will discuss the lifestyle modifications needed for the successful gastric pill balloon treatment.

○ Gastric balloon placement: In this step, the patient is asked to swallow a gastric pill balloon capsule under the supervision of the doctor. When the balloon pill reaches the desired position in the stomach, the balloon is filled with 550 ml of saline with the help of the attached tube and filling system. When the balloon is filled, the tube is gently removed completing the procedure.

● This whole procedure takes 20-minutes and the patient can go home after the procedure.

● For the next 16 weeks, the patient is asked to transmit data to the physician through a smart scale for further evaluation, advice, lifestyle modifications and support to make the treatment effective.

● After 16 weeks the balloon deflates automatically and is excreted with faeces without the need for the removal endoscopy procedure.

● Gastric pill balloon pre-procedure instructions

○ The patient is advised to eat and drink according to the instructions given by the clinical team.

○ The patient will be asked to adjust or stop ongoing medications before the procedure.

○ The patient will have to start a physical activity regimen for enhanced results or lose weight.

● Gastric pill balloon post-procedure instructions:

○ The patient is advised to drink small amounts of clear liquid starting about 6 hours after the procedure and continue it for the next 4-7 days. After 7 days the patient can start eating soft foods.

○ The patient can eat normal food after around 3 weeks after the procedure.

○ The patient is advised to take prescribed medications in case of nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting.

○ The patient must follow and adopt an active and healthy lifestyle for effective results.

● In case of severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and other abnormal symptoms contact the doctor as soon as possible.

After the placement of the pill balloon in the stomach, the patient will experience symptoms like nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting for a couple of days. Medications are prescribed by the doctor to get relief from such symptoms. Also, patients have to follow a liquid diet for a few days. The patient will lose 10 to 15 kgs in a 16 weeks period after the placement of the balloon. Results can be maximised with lifestyle modifications of diet and exercise.

Is endoscopy needed for gastric pill balloon procedure?

No, gastric pill balloon does not require endoscopy or anaesthesia, unlike the conventional gastric balloon procedure. It is a small pill-shaped balloon attached with a thin tube and just needed to be swallowed. When it reaches the stomach it is filled with saline with the help of an attached tube. It remains there for 16 weeks after which it deflates itself and passed out of the body with faeces.

What are the risks of gastric pill balloons?

● Common side-effects of gastric balloons are:

○ Nausea

○ Abdominal pain or cramps

○ Vomiting

● Other rare side-effects associated with it are:

○ Perforation of gastric wall or oesophagus

○ Overinflation of balloon

○ Pancreatitis

○ Rupture of the balloon

○ Blockage of the digestive tract

● Contact the doctor immediately in case of severe pain, nausea, vomiting or change in the colour of the urine.

How much weight loss is expected with a gastric pill balloon?

A gastric pill balloon reduces the size of the stomach leading to decreased hunger and increased feeling of fullness. It remains there for 16 weeks and the patient can lose 10-15 kgs of weight during this period. For maximum benefits, the patient is advised to eat a healthy diet and adopt an active lifestyle.

What happens to gastric pill balloon in the stomach?

The gastric pill balloon is made up of dissolvable material and has valves. After remaining in the stomach for 16 weeks it deflates itself as the valves open. It is absorbed and excreted with faeces out of the body. There is no need for an endoscopy procedure to remove it after 16 weeks.

Is the procedure painless?

Yes, the procedure is painless. It feels like swallowing a pill slightly larger than an antibiotic capsule. The whole procedure is performed under the supervision of the certified doctor for the safety of the patient. The patient might feel abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting after the placement of a gastric balloon. These symptoms subside once the stomach adapts according to the balloon.




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