Obesity is a disease of modern society. Lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, hormonal disorders and metabolic disorders are just some of the reasons that lead to overweight in an increasing number of people. The fight against obesity is led by lifestyle changes, dietary regimens, and increased physical activity. If all these attempts do not lead to adequate results, invasive and non-invasive surgical methods can be performed.
The benefits of weight loss balloons:
- Non-invasive method
- Minimal level of complications
- The intervention lasts a few minutes
- After the intervention the patient is discharged from the hospital
- The intervention is performed in analgesia
Doctor Aleksandar Milovanović – specialist in general and abdominal surgery, explains how to place an intragastric balloon in the stomach. Placing a weight loss balloon is not a surgical method like the operation to reduce the stomach.
Weight loss balloons placement
Dr. Aleksandar Milovanović: “ Intragastric (weight loss) balloon placement has an extremely small number of risks and complications. Unlike surgical interventions, which are always associated with possible, serious complications. During surgical interventions, the abdominal cavity is opened, the stomach is shortened or narrowed, or a new connection of the stomach is made with one of the small intestine convolutions. Balloon placement is, for that matter, extremely safe. Complications, which of course are always possible, have been kept to a minimum. ”
In what ways do we feel hunger and satiety?
Dr. Aleksandar Milovanović: ” The feeling of hunger, what we are fighting against, roughly speaking, can be divided into a central and peripheral feeling of hunger.
- Central feeling of hunger – what the “analysis of our computer brain” sends us in relation to what the blood brings to it.
- Peripheral feeling of hunger – distension of the wall of the digestive tract-stomach.
Peripheral sensation is what the digestive tract “reports” to us, in other words the stomach. The stomach is dilated after a meal. In certain ways, it “tells” the brain that it is full. We are trying to do that by placing a balloon, which is indeed a real balloon. The balloon is filled with physiological solution and stands in the stomach, expands it and gives constant information that the stomach is full. As a result, the patient loses the peripheral feeling of hunger, which is extremely important and gives him the feeling that he does not have to eat. ”
Balloon placement is a non-invasive surgical method, with minimal risks. This method reduces the feeling of hunger. The same is done with surgical methods, but the risk is much higher.
Dr. Aleksandar Milovanović: ” These are operations that reduce, narrow the stomach- the so-called” Sleeve resections “, or the stomach is cut high and a connection is made with the small intestine. Now we have reduced the stomach, so a smaller amount of food is enough to expand it, to the extent that it sends information to the brain that it is full. These interventions are surgical, aggressive, and just as good and have their own indications. When a balloon is not an option, then it is recommended that a Sleeve gastrectomy be performed to help the patient. ”
What precedes the doctor’s decision which method will be used?
Dr. Aleksandar Milovanović: “Each of the patients must first pass one” test “. Here, we will use dietary measures to check whether the patient is mentally ready to undergo a long-term procedure. This surgical intervention (less invasive such as a balloon or surgery) will lead the patient to the desired goal if he adheres to all medical instructions. We can remove even the whole stomach, but if patient takes shakes with sugar and milk, that patient will gain weight.”
If doctors decide that the installation of an intragastric balloon is possible, the patient needs to have an examination of the esophagus and stomach, in order to exclude possible contraindications. This is followed by intervention.
Dr. Aleksandar Milovanović: “ The intervention of gastric balloon placement is for patients practically like a simple examination of the stomach, like gastroscopy. It is performed in analgesic sedation. So, the patient is asleep, there is no feeling of pain. He breaths on his own, there is no “big” anesthesia (general anesthesia) so to say. Breathing is independent, there is no intubation. Balloon placement and complete intervention take a few minutes. The patient can leave the hospital 2 hours after the intervention and go home. ”
How do patients feel after the balloon placement and does a foreign body bother them in any way?
Dr. Aleksandar Milovanović: ” The feeling after the intervention is individual. However, now there is something in the stomach – a foreign body, which gives you the feeling that you ate well. So, in a small number of cases – below 5%, patients have a feeling of bloating, which is also very easily resolved with therapy and drugs, common for this condition. Of course, that feeling passes over time (a few days). ”
There are balloons that stay in the stomach for three months, six months or a year. This is important to determine, before the intervention is done. Removing the balloon is even faster and easier. Also, it is done in analgesic sedation. On gastroscopy, the balloon is punctured and removed.
What is important to know is that there are simple and non-invasive methods that help you get rid of excess weight and prevent many serious diseases that occur as a result of obesity.
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