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Gastric Balloon

A gastric balloon is a non-surgical procedure that can kickstart major weight loss by reducing feelings of hunger and helping you feel fuller longer. At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, our department of gastroenterology specializes in this innovative treatment. 

Talk with an endoscopic gastric baloon weight loss specialist

Endoscopic weight loss: Why choose us?

When you choose our Center for Weight Management, you’ll find: 

  • Endoscopic experience: Gastroenterologists provide high-quality care. You receive the coordinated input and expertise of multiple specialists, all under one roof. 

  • Convenient care: Finding the weight loss services you need in the Puget Sound is easy. Our doctors offer virtual visits so you can get the individualized care you deserve from the comfort and privacy of your home. 

  • Trusted team: We are backed by the resources and capabilities of one of the leading health systems in the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s award-winning hospitals have a longstanding tradition of excellence.
  • The gastric balloon, also called a stomach balloon or weight loss balloon, is a balloon we place in your stomach using endoscopy. A gastroenterologist inserts a thin, flexible tube with a camera (endoscope) into your mouth, down your digestive tract to your stomach. They place a small balloon filled with saline (about the size of a grapefruit) inside your stomach.

  • The gastric balloon takes up space, so you don’t feel as hungry and you feel fuller longer after small meals. It stays in your stomach temporarily. We remove it after about six months. We can provide ongoing weight management services and support to help you keep the weight off and meet your health goals.

  • A gastric balloon procedure may be right for you if you’ve struggled to lose weight with diet and exercise but aren’t a candidate for bariatric surgery. The procedure is an alternative to weight loss medication and bariatric surgery for people with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 40.

  • Here are a few things you should know if you’re considering the stomach balloon:

    • Anesthesia: Sedation (a light sleep)
    • Procedure time: 20 to 30 minutes
    • Hospitalization: None (most people go home the same day)
    • Recovery: 3 to 5 days
    • Total weight loss (TWL): About 10 to 15% TWL (as a percentage of starting weight)
  • The gastric balloon is a non-invasive procedure, so it doesn’t require incisions (cuts) in your abdomen or digestive tract. It’s a quick outpatient procedure with a much shorter recovery than weight loss surgery. The gastric balloon also is less expensive than weight loss surgery. It can accelerate your weight loss and help you get health conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, under control.

  • The most common side effects of the stomach balloon are nausea and vomiting for one to two weeks after the procedure. It’s also not ideal for people with any of the following health conditions: 

    • Blood clotting disorders
    • Gastrointestinal bleeding
    • Gastrointestinal masses or abnormalities
    • Hiatal hernia
    • Inflammatory bowel disease 
    • Previous abdominal or gastrointestinal surgery 
    • Stomach ulcer
  • The gastric balloon procedure is usually not covered by insurance. Please check with your health plan to find out if you have coverage.

Talk with an endoscopic gastric balloon weight loss specialist

We invite you to find out more about your weight loss options.  Contact Dr. Nanda Venu, at 206-223-2319.