Diet & Lose Weight

Intragastric balloon: Everything you need to know

The gastric or intragastric balloon is a procedure that involves placing, through the esophagus, a balloon in the stomach, with the goal of helping to reduce weight. An alternative when hypocaloric diets and other followed dietary treatments have not given the expected results in cases of overweight or obesity, whose health consequences can be severe, such as cardiovascular, metabolic and osteoarticular problems.

intragastric balloon

During the time of implantation of the intragastric balloon (between 6-8 months) the diet should be reviewed, both in quantity and quality, adopting new, healthier eating habits. The balloon is removed with a technique similar to that of its placement.

What is it

The intragastric balloon is a soft, expandable silicone balloon that is placed without surgery, by means of endoscopy under sedation. Once in the stomach, the balloon is filled with sterile saline to enlarge it (occupying around 40-50% of the total volume of the stomach) and cannot pass into the intestine. Placing the balloon is simple and lasts only 30 minutes. During the time that the balloon remains in place, it is necessary to carry out follow-up consultations, as well as to follow a program of rehabilitation of feeding habits, since otherwise it will not be useful to have opted for this technique.

For whom

To decide whether to place the gastric balloon or not, you must have medical advice. In general terms, it is a recommended technique for those people who are overweight, between 20-25 kilos above their ideal weight. It is also a recommended technique for obese people, those who are going to undergo surgery with greater risks due to being overweight and in cases of high risk of heart problems or metabolic diseases associated with being overweight or obese. Similarly, we must take into account why the diets or alternatives adopted so far have given results and easily recovers lost weight.

How much weight we lost

According to experts, this technique can lose one kilo per week, although of course, everything depends on the body. Treatment of the gastric balloon should be accompanied by dietary advice. Although the feeling of satiety will be greater by eating less, because of the space occupied by the balloon, it is essential to follow a healthy and balanced diet so that the weight loss is effective and, when the balloon is removed, the lost kilos are not recovered.


Of entry, the side effects are usually mild or removal after implantation. Although minimal, there may be some complication when performing the endoscopy or to place the balloon. It may also be the case that accumulates fiber around the balloon, which will make it slightly more difficult to withdraw. After implantation may appear nausea or vomiting, irritation of the mucosa of the stomach or gastritis, among other effects that refer around the 48 hours.