Gastric Balloon

This page will provide you with information about having a gastric balloon procedure. For further details, please speak to your consultant.

What is a gastric balloon?

A gastric balloon – sometimes also called an intragastric balloon – is a procedure aimed at those wishing to lose weight. It works by reducing the size of the stomach and limiting the amount of food it can hold, meaning the patient feels fuller even after very small meals. This is one way of losing weight without the need for surgery.

A small, soft balloon is placed inside the stomach with the use of a small, flexible telescope known as an endoscope. The balloon is then partially filled with a saline solution – this partially fills the stomach and the patient will be unable to consume as much, leading to a feeling of fullness.

Gastric balloons are a temporary weight loss solution, usually removed after six months. They are sometimes inserted in a bid to help individuals lose weight for another, more permanent weight loss procedure – like gastric bypass surgery or gastric banding/lap banding.

What will happen during the procedure?

This is a short procedure – usually only 20-30 minutes long – during which time the patient will be under sedation. It is a minor procedure with most patients returning home the same day or day after the balloon is inserted.

In some cases, the patient may not be able to keep the balloon in place for the full six months; this may occur in the first few days if the patient feels nauseous and suffers from vomiting. If this is the case then the balloon will be taken out early.

Hospital staff will provide information on aftercare for a gastric balloon procedure.

Risks and complications

Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your expert consultant.



EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.


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