Bariatric intragastric balloon therapy is a known therapy for weight loss, which involves a balloon being endoscopically-placed or swallowed and inflated inside the lumen of the stomach. The balloon resides in the stomach and the mechanism of action is presumably due to stretching the stomach, inducing postprandial fullness and early satiety, although it has also been proposed that the mechanism of action may be delayed gastric emptying 3.
There are a number of different types of balloons, all of which assist in weight loss 1, albeit possibly not more so than conventional management 2. Fluid-filled gastric balloons have been available for longer than their air-filled counterparts. It has been claimed that air-filled gastric balloons cause fewer side effects such as nausea and vomiting due to their comparative lightness 4.
Adverse outcomes include:
- difficulty with removal
- gastric ulcers
- migration: spontaneous deflation can occur with migration of the balloon through the alimentary tract causing gastric outlet obstruction or small bowel obstruction
- 1. Saber AA, Shoar S, Almadani MW et-al. Efficacy of First-Time Intragastric Balloon in Weight Loss: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Obes Surg. doi:10.1007/s11695-016-2296-8 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Fernandes M, Atallah AN, Soares BG et-al. Intragastric balloon for obesity. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007; (1): CD004931. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004931.pub2 - Pubmed citation
- 3. Gómez V, Woodman G, Abu Dayyeh BK. Delayed gastric emptying as a proposed mechanism of action during intragastric balloon therapy: Results of a prospective study. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016; . doi:10.1002/oby.21555 - Pubmed citation
- 4. Giuricin M, Nagliati C, Palmisano S, Simeth C, Urban F, Buri L, Balani A, de Manzini N. Short- and long-term efficacy of intragastric air-filled balloon (Heliosphere® BAG) among obese patients. Obesity surgery. 22 (11): 1686-9. doi:10.1007/s11695-012-0700-6 - Pubmed