Gastric balloon requirements: are you eligible for the surgery?

Welcome to this section where you can learn more about gastric balloon requirements and if you’re an eligible candidate. Balloon placement is an endoscopic procedure that makes it easier to be qualified compared to other bariatric surgeries.

However, you still need to be in good health with no acute inflammatory diseases that would affect your digestion system or other abdominal surgeries in the past. This article will expand the idea of your eligibility and weight loss expectancy in the bigger picture. After all, you need to visit your doctor to discuss your goals for life in terms of how much you want to lose weight. Accordingly, your doctor will do physical and psychological evaluations for the gastric balloon operation.

Who qualifies for gastric balloon?

Your age, BMI, previous weight loss efforts, overall health, and mental state determine whether you’re qualified or not for the gastric balloon. You must be between the ages of 18-65 with a BMI of 30-40. When it comes to overall health, you’re still qualified if you have certain obesity-related symptoms. Then comes your mental stability and willingness to change your lifestyle to be fully qualified.

The surgery itself is not invasive and is one of the safest approaches for weight loss procedures, due it its non-surgical ways of operating. Therefore the restrictions are not very demanding, the chances are high if you wish to undergo gastric balloon.

Let’s discuss who qualifies for gastric balloon procedure.

Your BMI plays an important role

Gastric balloon BMI requirements are not that strict, as long it is between 30 and 40, you’re qualified in terms of body mass index. This is due to its simplicity and whether you’re BMI is 30 or 40 you are able to reduce it to a certain point. A balloon is a great option if lifestyle changes alone were not progressive enough.

However, If it’s over 40, it won’t give pleasing results because it aims to lose 30% of your weight at best in 12 months, which means 5-9 reduced your BMI. The ratio itself is a great goal to achieve and for greater weight loss and health improvement, your doctor might suggest a different path.

In this case, your doctor most probably will recommend you other options to consider such as gastric sleeve, or bypass. However, if you don’t wish to undergo weight loss surgery, you still have the option for a second balloon later after the first one or you may also consider gastric botox.

If your age is suitable

As long you’re above 18 and less than 65 then you are a suitable candidate. Your age plays a big role in terms of success rate and expectancy of weight loss. However, if you’re below 18, it’s better to have different ways to deal with achieving excess weight loss. Simply having modifications in your daily food intake choices and daily lifestyle choices changes are better for the sake of your health.

But what if you’re above the age of 65? That needs careful consideration and close-up overall health examination. You can still get the balloon installed but the chances of complications might be more crucial, you might not be able to tolerate it due to medical history or health issues.

At the end of the day, consult your personal case with your doctor if you’re under 18 or above 65 for a clearer vision and taking the right choices in your life.

If you need changes more than dieting

A gastric Balloon diet is more motivational therapy for body weight loss than following a regular diet which is also a solution if you have diet attempts that didn’t work previously. Here are all the answers if you need changes more than dieting for weight loss:

  • Portion control
  • Appetite manipulation
  • Medical guidance and monitoring

When you have the balloon placed in your stomach, it helps you automatically eat fewer amounts of food per meal. That makes your satiety more controlled because not only do you feel full with small portions of food but also the fullness lasts for hours.

Your appetite for food becomes less cravy and more controlling due to hunger hormonal manipulation for the need for food. Accordingly, it helps to follow the guidelines on daily bases, and the balloon will be helping you to adjunct to lifestyle intervention.

If your medical history doesn't include these

There are some cases that would disqualify you for gastric balloon placement. However, if your medical history doesn’t include these cases in your past until the present day then you won’t face issues with gastric balloon requirements:

Severe gastrointestinal issues are alarming and not welcoming for foreign objects and even types of food. Bowel diseases, problems such as ulcers, or anything that would severely cause digestive system dysfunctions may need different solutions to lose weight.

If there are esophageal and stomach issues that interfere with gastric balloon insertion such as bleeding or possible injury during placement disqualifies you from it. This includes medications for blood thinners because it encourages the possibility of bleeding during endoscopy. In the end, if the doctor risks it for placing, you might end up in a different operation to heal the severe issues or abort the gastric balloon procedure immediately.

In cases of being pregnant or planning to become a mom near future is not good for both your health and your baby because you both need good nutrition and more than usual food intake which contradicts the balloon for weight loss.

It is also not recommended to have an intra-gastric balloon if your BMI is over 40. Your legibility is certain within 30-40 BM of range, undergoing different bariatric procedures would give better results and better health in the long-term weight loss journey.

What also plays a role in gastric balloon requirements is being committed to lifestyle interventions and being ready to follow guidelines until the end of it. There will be a healthcare team to help you through your journey and will be there for you when you don’t know what to do or have questions. However, this journey also includes a lot of self-control too.

If you're not considering other bariatric options

Treatment of obesity varies in their techniques and gastric balloon programs are one of them who do not wish to undergo a surgical procedure. What makes it unique is that there are no rearrangements in organs, is less invasive and is more affordable than many other solutions.

There are no cuts or stitches involved in the gastric balloon via endoscopy procedures or, it could be with a swallowable capsule that inflates in the stomach. Therefore it reduces the risk of complications significantly and the balloon side effects are temporal if existed.

Have you undergone bariatric surgery before?

Non-surgical treatment option such as a balloon is almost impossible to be a valid option if you have a history of surgical interventions on your stomach. If you’re considering such an option you need to talk to your doctor and study your case for a solution

Balloon therapy is a non-invasive approach but can you get a gastric balloon after a gastric bypass, mini bypass, or duodenal switch? Unfortunately, that option is physically not possible. The risks for health concerns are high and it could damage the abdominal area internally.

There might be a slight chance of possibility for balloon installment if you have undergone sleeve gastrectomy. However, you will need to consult your original healthcare provider or surgeon and check your overall health. The possibility is valid if your stomach has expanded over the years and is eligible after passing the requirements needed for a balloon procedure.

Have you undergone gastric balloon surgery before?

The gastric balloon is a temporary solution, 1 year at best which has limits for its service. If the period of your balloon expires when you want to achieve higher goals, it is possible for you to have another balloon placement. However, the second balloon placement is decided by your doctor based on your overall health status but it slightly differs from initial gastric balloon requirements. However, the placement of the balloon is also a decision whether it’s right after the first balloon removal or after a certain period of time.

You should be in good health condition and with a BMI in the range of 30 and 40. Also, you can bring your gastric balloon testimonials to share your personal experience and have an overview for improvement or higher success procedure-wise.

If you had a 1-year balloon and during the year you achieved a great amount of weight loss, you won’t have to go for another year. Based on your condition and goals, if it is possible to be achieved in less than a year, your doctor may suggest a 6-month balloon. Keep in mind you will have to follow the guidelines for food and mobility just like your initial attempt.

Elisabeth M.H. Mathus-Vliegen; Intragastric Balloon Treatment for Obesity: What Does It Really Offer?. Dig Dis 1 December 2007; 26 (1): 40–44.

Dumonceau, JM. Evidence-based Review of the Bioenterics Intragastric Balloon for Weight Loss. OBES SURG 18, 1611–1617 (2008).

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