Intragastric Balloon Surgery

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong process and different for each patient. You’re an individual with unique needs, which is why we offer a variety of treatment options to help those looking to lose weight, including intragastric balloon surgery.

About intragastric balloon surgery

Despite its name, intragastric balloon surgery is a non-surgical treatment option for weight loss. It’s a 30-minute outpatient procedure that requires no stitches or incisions and leaves no scarring.

This is a more recent nonsurgical weight loss option. During this outpatient procedure, a balloon is placed into the stomach to provide a feeling of fullness. You’ll return monthly after the procedure for monitoring. After six months, you’ll have the balloon removed. Our multidisciplinary team provides follow-up care during this time and support for up to a year following the procedure.

While the balloon helps you reduce the amount you eat, it is also retraining your brain, helping you get in touch with feelings of fullness from the foods you eat.

Who qualifies for intragastric balloon surgery?

If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 40 and are willing to follow a medically supervised weight loss program, you may qualify for intragastric balloon. You will also undergo a diagnostic endoscopy so your provider can examine your digestive tract and determine if the intragastric balloon is a viable option.

It's important to remember that every patient is different, and your bariatric surgeon will discuss all of your weight loss surgery options after taking into consideration your health history and other factors.

What to expect

Post-op to 3 months later

Right after the procedure, your body will need to adjust to the intragastric balloon. You may experience symptoms like abdominal discomfort, nausea and/or vomiting. Your bariatric surgeon may recommend medication to help manage your symptoms, and you’ll follow up with our care team for education and support throughout your recovery and beyond.

Weight loss will begin soon after the procedure and you’ll see rapid results within the first three months. As with any weight loss program, your own efforts to change your diet and lifestyle and stay active can help improve your weight loss results with intragastric balloon.

Having a healthy mindset is also an important aspect of your long-term weight loss journey.

4-6 months later

During months four through six, you'll focus on reinforcing the good habits you've learned from the early months of intragastric balloon surgery. This includes healthy eating 3behaviors and mindset for long-term healthy weight management.

Working closely with your bariatric team, you'll follow a personalized nutrition and exercise plan to help improve your results from intragastric balloon. You'll meet regularly with your weight loss treatment team, which includes bariatric dietitians, exercise specialist, psychologist, nurse practitioner and bariatric surgeon.

Removing the intragastric balloon

This is a nonsurgical procedure that takes only about 20 to 30 minutes. The balloon is removed after you've had it in your stomach for six months and have learned to recognize fullness and implement healthy eating and lifestyle behaviors. Your bariatric support team will continue to work closely with you to keep you on track for your goals.

Possible risks

As with any medical procedure, it’s important to be aware of risks associated with intragastric balloon surgery, including:

  • Balloon rupture
  • Balloon migration

While serious, these risks are quite rare. Be sure to speak with your provider about any questions or concerns you might have.


Bariatric Surgery

Weight loss solutions are available at Main Line Health. Explore your bariatric surgery options today at locations throughout the Philadelphia area.

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