The intragastric balloon is considered to be a more minor procedure, as it is not as invasive and can be carried out under sedation. The procedure involves passing a tube down your oesophagus (gullet) into the stomach. At the end of the tube is a collapsed silicone balloon that is filled with about 600ml of saline. The space taken up by the balloon in your stomach means you only need small amounts of food to feel full, therefore you eat less and this helps you to lose weight.
The intragastric balloon can be left in your stomach up to a maximum of 6 months, after which time it must be removed or there is a risk it can gradually deflate, leave the stomach and block the intestine. The aim during this 6 month spell is that the intragastric balloon with help train you to eat less, so that the weight loss can be maintained even after the balloon is removed. Sometimes this procedure is performed as a temporary measure to help severely obese people lose some weight ahead a more permanent procedure, thus making the second procedure safer.
During the 6 months the average weight loss achieved is 2 – 3 stones.