Excess body weight results in significant loss of the quality of life. Pathological obesity takes threatening forms worldwide because of inevitable co-existing serious diseases development. The most severe of these diseases are hypertension, diabetes, reproductive dysfunction, leg joints diseases, dyslipidemia (elevated level of cholesterol and blood triglyceride), varicose veins of lower limbs, sleep hypoventilation syndrome (sleep apnea), fatty liver dystrophy (hepatosis), chronic calculous cholecystitis, and chronic pancreatitis. The growth of the number of people suffering from overweight is reported not only in the industrialized developed countries, but also in the emerging nations. Most of the experts relate this phenomenon to intense urbanization and modernization processes accompanied by the general decrease of human physical activity, as well as adoption of the elements of «western lifestyle» by the population of the developing countries (in particular, the consumption of large quantities of high-caloric food rich in protein and carbs, the so-called «fast-food» is becoming normal). The most common methods of weight loss are physical activity, dieting, nutritional supplements, medication. But the last hope for the people suffering from serious («morbid») forms of obesity is surgery. Obesity surgery is called «Bariatric surgery» (from the Greek baros- weight, iatrike — medicine) in academic literature. The most widely spread method of surgical obesity treatment is the procedure of gastric balloon placement. The popularity of this procedure is determined by its low invasiveness, atraumatic course and high efficiency.
What is Intragastric Balloon? Intragastric balloon is a relatively new medical device intended for effective body mass loss. It has become widely known during the recent years. It is used for obesity treatment and intended for the patient’s weight loss by means of partial filling of the stomach and, as a result, the absence of hunger. The set consists of a collapsed silicone balloon with a check valve, a silicone probe for the balloon placement with a silicone sheath, a metal guide wire for increased rigidity, a PVC tube for liquid transfusion.
How does it work? Intragastric balloon is a spherical shell made of durable silicone with a check-valve attached to its wall, and a system of tubes for saline solution transfusion. The collapsed balloon is placed inside the stomach as a gastric probe, without any liquid inside. In the process of the balloon inflation with saline solution, the balloon becomes sphere-shaped. According to the initial volume of stomach, the size of the inflated balloon varies from 400 to 700 cc. When inside the stomach, the balloon fills the stomach excess capacity. Consequently, less food is needed to induce the reaction of receptors sending signals about the stomach filling. Thus, the patient feels satiety earlier than usual. With the course of time, the patient works out the habit to consume less food. Then the patient accustoms himself to the new diet and nutrition regime which is maintained for a long period after the balloon removal. The patient suffers from nausea, stomach overfilling, discomfort in the epigastrium area during the first several days after the balloon placement. But normally, within 7-14 days after intragastric balloon placement procedure, the patient almost doesn’t make notice of the device and lives the normal life style. The balloon is placed temporarily. The balloon can stay in the stomach for maximum 6 months and should be removed afterwards.
The advantages over other methods • The balloon implantation procedure is not regarded as surgery. The balloon is implanted endoscopically which takes 10-15 minutes, under intravenous anesthesia; • The procedure is tolerated easily by patients and can be compared with regular endoscopy; • The patient doesn’t have to change his usual lifestyle; • High efficiency; • Minor risk of complications
Safety The decision to use the balloon is made by a physician on the basis of the data obtained as a result of the total examination of a patient suffering from obesity. The balloon can be placed into the stomach of patients whose body mass index (BMI) is 30-40 kg/m2. Patients whose BMI is more than 40 kg/m2 can be treated with the balloon for the purpose of preparation for the surgery.