Intragastric or gastric balloon therapy is a minimally invasive and temporary method for losing weight. This procedure involves inserting a saline filled balloon into the stomach where it will rest, inducing in patients, a feeling of satiety and fullness. Intragastric balloons are optimal for Class I obese patients with a BMI between 30-40 kg/m2 as it is minimally invasive, less costly and has a much shorter recovery time with fewer side effects.
There are different types of gastric balloon systems and brands, each with their own risks, effectiveness, duration period etc. Let’s take a look at some common ones.
The ORBERA Gastric Balloon
Considered to be the number one weight loss balloon worldwide, the ORBERA is a durable gastric balloon made out of soft silicone. During this approximately 20 minute procedure, the balloon is inserted through the oesophagus into the stomach and a syringe is used to fill the balloon with a sterile saline solution until it is about the size of a grapefruit. The maximum duration the patient this balloon is six months and average reported excess weight loss (%EWL) is around 25.44% at 12 months. Some common complications or side effects with the ORBERA may include pain and nausea (33.7%), migration of the balloon (1.4%) and gastric perforation (0.1%). At Medical Travel Czech this procedure costs 1,990 Euros.
The ReShape Gastric Balloon
The ReShape comprises of inserting two connected medical-grade silicone balloons endoscopically into the patient’s stomach. The balloons are filled with saline and stay lodged in the stomach for a maximum of six months. The ReShape differs from other gastric balloons by having a larger capacity, which means it fills up more of your stomach, giving you a fuller feeling. The ReShape also has indicated to reduce the chance of migration by conforming to the natural shape of your stomach. The expected excess weight loss with the ReShape is around 31.8% at six months and some common complications include gastric ulcers (10%). In the United States, the ReShape can start at $8,000.
The Spatz3 Gastric Balloon
The Spatz3 is an adjustable medical-grade, saline-filled balloon that resides in the stomach and takes up approximately 1/3 of the stomach’s volume. A unique feature of the Spatz3 is that it has a retractable inflation tube which allows doctors to adjust the volume of the balloon while it still rests in the stomach. Another unique feature of the Spatz3 is that it can stay in the stomach for 12 months before removal and the average expected excess weight loss (%EWL) is around 46% at time of removal. Some complications that may arise from the insertion of the Spatz3 may include gastric ulcerations (1.2%). At Medical Travel Czech this procedure costs 2,390 Euros and includes pre-op and post-op check-up plus balloon removal.
Deciding on which gastric balloon system is right for you should be a decision you make with your doctor or specialist who will advice you on what you need depending on your requirements and situation. Should you decide to embark on a gastric balloon procedure in Prague or the Czech Republic, know that in some medical centres such as Medical Travel Czech, the price of such a procedure includes benefits such as airport pick up, flexible assistance, pre-op and post op care, overnight stay at the clinic and anaesthesia.