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Intragastric Balloon (IGB)

This procedure uses an endoscope (a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it) to direct the placement of a smooth, spherical silicone balloon into the stomach. It is performed entirely with the use of an endoscope without the need for any surgical skin incisions. While the patient is under anesthesia, the balloon catheter is directed through the mouth and into the stomach with the endoscope. Inside the stomach, the balloon is filled with 500 to 700 cubic centimeters of normal saline fluid and then released into the stomach cavity. The balloon will take up about a third of the volume of the stomach and stay in place in the patient for six months.

The IGB is a free-floating device in the stomach with smooth surfaces that will induce a feeling of fullness and therefore encourage less caloric intake and induce weight loss. Because it takes up a lot of space in the stomach, patients will naturally be able to eat less. Also because it delays the passage of food out of the stomach, patients will develop an earlier sense of satiety with meals. This is most evident with high-carbohydrate foods such as bread, rice, pasta-all foods that should be avoided as one tries to lose weight. Throughout this six month process, the patient must engage in a behavioral, exercise, and dietary lifestyle program to maximize that amount of weight loss while the IGB is implanted and to maintain the weight loss in the future after it is removed.

Six months after the IGB placement, the patient will return for a fully endoscopic procedure to remove the balloon. Under anesthesia, the IGB will be deflated while inside the stomach then removed. The patient’s behavioral program will continue for six month after the IGB removal. Studies have shown that patients can lose an average of about 10 percent of their total body weight after 12 months of IGB therapy. In pounds, this translates to 20 to 30 pounds for most patients.

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