Gastric balloon

A gastric balloon is inserted by endoscopy into the stomach. It is a filled with fluid and can be left internally for up to six months when it is removed with a scope.

If you’re considering weight loss surgery to reduce the health risks of being overweight, our specialist consultant will support and advise you every step of the way. We offer a comprehensive service; dieticians and health psychologists are all there to support you on your weight loss journey.

The procedure is non-surgical, minimally invasive, and non-permanent.

A gastric balloon is a very good option for those motivated to return to their usual dietary and exercise patterns prior to their weight gain. It is also used as a staged approach for individuals with a high BMI to allow weight loss and a reduction of their risk prior to considering a more permanent weight loss operation. Gastric balloons are removable, so the operation can be reversed if it causes serious problems. As with all weight loss surgery, it requires a lifelong commitment to a healthy diet and exercise plan.

The amount of weight loss varies from patient to patient, but the overall reduction in quantity of food that can enter the stomach, will lead to a noticeable loss of weight.

An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube that has a light source and camera at one end. Images of the inside of your body are relayed to a television screen. The endoscope is passed through the gullet into the stomach to check that there are no medical contraindications. The deflated balloon is then passed through and inflated with liquid coloured with blue dye. A final check with an endoscope is done prior to detaching the balloon to lie free within the stomach.

Because of the space occupying effect within the stomach, it is very difficult to have any solids in the first 1-2 weeks following surgery. Drinking liquid however is very important, and individuals are encouraged to drink copious amounts of fluid only for the first few days following insertion. It is not uncommon to feel nauseous in the first few days post-insertion. If you feel this is an issue for you post-surgery please contact Benenden Hospital

This is a very simple, non-invasive procedure which carries the same minor risks of an endoscopy and can be performed under sedation without the need for an anaesthetic. There is a very rare theoretical risk of balloon rupture, which would lead to the blue dye escaping and colouring urine blue/green. If this occurs, the ruptured balloon is removed endoscopically.

Other weight loss options include lifestyle changes, weight-loss programs, other weight loss surgery, psychological treatments and medication. The effectiveness of each of these options will depend on the problem and the individual concerned:

Lifestyle changes involve making changes to diet, undertaking exercise and altering other lifestyle habits, either on their own or with the aid of a self-help support group.

Weight-loss programmes set out an eating pattern and give dietary advice, as well as an exercise programme.

Psychological treatments can support the patient's thoughts, feelings and actions towards themselves and their relationship with food, eating and exercise.

Medications; There are new medicines on the market which may help you lose weight, which can be prescribed by your GP.

In our experience, most candidates for weight loss surgery have already undergone some or all of the other treatment options. The specialist team at Benenden Hospital, led by your consultant, will discuss how effective these weight loss methods have been for you to establish if surgery is an option and how they can support you in the future

Consultant headshot

Mr Ahmed Hamouda

Consultant Surgeon
Weight loss surgery enquiries

You can access weight our weight loss surgery services at Benenden Hospital as a self-funding patient or as a discounted self-paying Benenden member. This service is not available to NHS patients.

You can access weight our weight loss surgery services at Benenden Hospital as a self-funding patient or as a discounted self-paying Benenden member. This service is not available to NHS patients.