Gastric Balloon vs. Stomach Folding

Gastric Balloon (Intragastric Balloon)

A Lighter Me does not recommend the gastric balloon surgery. For a better option, speak with one of our coordinators about a gastric sleeve surgery.

Overview

The intragastric balloon is one of the newer weight-loss procedures that is available for individuals who have tried to lose weight on their own but have not had much success. During this procedure, a silicone balloon that is filled with saline is placed in the patient’s stomach. This balloon makes the patient feel fuller faster, and it also limits how much food can be consumed at one time. It may also slow down the process of the stomach emptying, and it may change hormone levels that control appetite. All of this should contribute to moderate weight loss. The balloon is usually left in the stomach for up to 6 months, and then it is removed through an endoscope.

Patient Eligibility

The ideal candidate for this procedure has a BMI between 30 and 40, is willing to make lifestyle and diet changes, and has not had any type of stomach or esophageal surgery in the past.

Average Weight Loss Results

During the first 6 months after the procedure, patients can expect to lose approximately 10 to 15 percent of their body weight; however, many patients have reported a weight loss of more than 30 percent. The amount of weight loss depends greatly upon the patient’s adherence to diet and lifestyle changes.

Recovery Time

Typically, a liquid diet is required for the first week after the procedure. Soft foods will then be permitted, and after about three weeks, patients are usually able to return to a normal diet and normal activities.

Common Side Effects

About one-third of patients experience pain and nausea for the first few days following the procedure. These side effects can typically be treated with oral medication, and they usually are not very serious.

Cost

This procedure is typically not covered by insurance. Although it varies, the average cost is just above $8,000.

References:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/intragastric-balloon/about/pac-20394435

Stomach Folding

A Lighter Me does not recommend the stomach folding surgery. For a better option, speak with one of our coordinators about a gastric sleeve surgery.

Overview

Stomach folding, also known as gastric plication, is a relatively new procedure that is considered experimental and is performed laparoscopically. It is a minimally invasive surgery, and it usually takes just about an hour to complete. During the procedure, the surgeon makes five small incisions in the abdomen in order to reach the stomach. The surgeon then folds the stomach into a smaller, more compact size, typically reducing its volume by about 70 percent. Depending on the size of the stomach of the patient, the surgeon will do one or two folds, and the folds will be held with non-absorbable sutures. This surgery is potentially reversible, so if the stomach needs to be returned to its original size for any reason, that will most likely be possible. With a smaller stomach, patients typically feel fuller faster, and they often have a decrease in appetite as well. This surgery does not usually result in any severe food restrictions. With surgery and lifestyle changes, many patients are able to reduce or eliminate their need for blood pressure, diabetes, and depression medications.

Patient Eligibility

In order to be eligible for this surgery, individuals must have a BMI of at least 27. The ideal candidate will have a BMI of 40 or more, or they will have a BMI over 35 with at least one weight-related health problem.

Average Weight Loss Results

Patients can typically lose 2 pounds per week after the completion of this procedure. In total, most patients lose between 40 and 60 percent of their excess body weight within a year.

Recovery Time

Patients often must stay in the hospital for a day or two after the surgery, but within a week, they can usually return to work. Full recovery takes about 4 weeks. The first 2 weeks after surgery, the patient is required to consume an all liquid diet. The patient will then be able to add in thicker liquids, yogurt, and fruit. Eventually, regular foods can be consumed, but most people are only able to eat up to four spoonfuls of food per meal.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects are nausea and vomiting, but oral medication can be given to minimize these effects. Even without medication, these side effects typically disappear within a week.

Cost

The average cost of stomach folding is approximately $10,000 to $15,000. Insurance does not typically cover this procedure.

References:
https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2012-03-09-stomach-origami.aspx