gastric balloon

quick facts

Procedure Type





30 minutes

Recovery Period

2-3 days

A Gastric Balloon is a soft silicone balloon that is inserted into the stomach via the patient’s mouth, usually using an endoscope, although new products on the market mean that this is not always necessary. The balloon partially fills the stomach, giving the patient a constant feeling of satiety which helps to reduce their food intake and thereby promote weight loss. On average, the balloon is about the same size as a grapefruit.

Treatment using a Non-Surgical Gastric Balloon includes a twelve month healthy eating and exercise plan to ensure the best possible results. By the end of the program, the patient should have reprogrammed their brain and body to lead a healthy, active lifestyle, making it more likely for them to keep the weight off for the long term.


A fairly straightforward non-surgical outpatient procedure, inserting the balloon takes approximately 30 minutes to perform with the patient normally being discharged on the same day. When the deflated gastric balloon is inserted via endoscopy, the patient is normally sedated to make them more comfortable during the procedure. Once the balloon is in the stomach a syringe is used to fill the balloon with a sterile saline solution.


There are three types of gastric balloon to choose from, as follows:

  • Orbera Gastric Balloon: inserted into the patient’s stomach using an endoscope, the Orbera can remain in place for up to six months, after which point it is removed using a similar process
  • Obalon Gastric Balloon: inserted into the patient’s stomach by endoscope, the Orbera can remain in the stomach for up to six months, after which point it is removed using a similar process
  • Elipse Gastric Balloon: a new and innovative solution, the Elipse consists of a capsule with a thin thread attached that the patient simply swallows with water: no need for an endoscopy, no need for surgery and no downtime. Once the capsule moves to the stomach, the consultant can inflate the balloon with water. The Elipse can remain in the stomach for up to four months.

Who is a good candidate for a non-surgical gastric balloon?
The procedure is suitable for overweight and obese people with a body mass index (bmi) of >27kg/m2. It is not suitable however for people with a gastric ulcer or kidney failure, and it cannot be used during pregnancy.

How much weight can be lost with a non-surgical gastric balloon?
The amount of weight lost varies between patient to patient, being dependent upon a number of factors such as how well the patient adapts to the balloon and how it affects their eating behaviour. On average, a patient should aim to lose around 1kg per week for the first three months post-procedure, working towards a total weight loss of around 10 to 15kg.



General, Laparoscopic & Bariatric Surgeon

Hugely qualified, experienced and respected general/ laparoscopic surgeon with advanced specialization in weight loss surgeries; expert in sleeve gastrectomy, lapband, gastric bypass, gastric balloon & more

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