An endoscopy is a non-surgical option for visualizing the gastrointestinal tracts for diagnostic testing and even minor procedures. For abdominal concerns, it involves the insertion of a tube through the mouth. It allows our specialist to view internal organs, including the esophagus (for concerns related to GORD), the stomach, and even the small intestine.
Endoscopic tools are suited to perform certain minor procedures, including facilitating weight loss (gastric balloon) and revising weight loss surgeries that have not offered the patient acceptable results.
The main advantages of endoscopy include a lower level of invasiveness versus surgery, which results in significantly reduced risk. In addition, mild sedation is typically used, and patients can leave the surgery center on the same day. Learn more about the endoscopic procedures performed by the providers at the Doral Health & Wellness Providers by clicking one of the links below.
Endoscopic Intragastric Balloon / Intragastric Weight Loss Balloon
The weight loss balloon is a new and exciting step forward in the non-surgical management of obesity. Using a fluid-filled ball placed in the stomach to reduce gastric volume, patients cannot eat as much as before and consequently lose weight. Most compelling is that gastric balloon insertion and removal do not require surgery, and recovery is very swift.
Orbera Gastric Balloon System
The Orbera Gastric Balloon System consists of a sterile fluid-filled synthetic balloon that takes up volume in the stomach and reduces the amount of food that a patient can comfortably consume.
During surgery, a Doral surgeon will deploy a long thin tube, known as an endoscope, through the mouth and down the esophagus to place the uninflated balloon in the stomach. Sterile saline (saltwater) is then injected into the balloon and left in the stomach. The balloon has multiple sizes to accommodate differences in anatomy. As a result, the balloon will fill approximately three-fourths of the volume of the stomach.
The balloon remains in the stomach for six months, after which it must be removed. The removal of the device is as straightforward as its placement. Our surgeon will puncture the balloon to drain the solution, and the device is removed through the esophagus using endoscopy. During both the placement and removal of the band, the patient will be under a short light anesthetic. Both are day procedures, allowing the patient to go home soon after completing the procedure.
During the six-month period in which the balloon remains in the stomach, a dietitian from Doral Health & Wellness will administer a comprehensive dietary program. The goal is to ingrain healthy changes in the patient’s lifestyle. This allows for average weight loss in the range of 20 -30pds during the period of balloon insertion.
Non-Endoscopic Allurion Gastric Balloon
Allurion Gastric Balloon Pill
A gastric balloon represents a temporary and often effective solution for those concerned about or who may not qualify for more invasive bariatric surgeries. However, until recently, even gastric balloon placement required sedation and an endoscopic procedure. Doral Health & Wellness Bariatric Center now offers qualifying patients the Allurion gastric balloon pill benefits, a unique weight loss option that requires neither surgery nor an endoscopic procedure to place in the stomach.
How It Works
The patient swallows a small pill with the balloon encapsulated therein. This pill is connected to a long and narrow tube to reach the stomach via the mouth. The pill enters the stomach through the esophagus using the body's normal digestive processes. Once in place, a Doral provider will take an x-ray to ensure appropriate positioning. At this point, the balloon is filled with up to 550 mL of sterile saline solution. The size of the filled balloon is approximately that of a grapefruit. The tube is then disconnected and removed. Another X-ray is taken to ensure an appropriate fill.
Unlike other weight loss options, including surgery and endoscopy, the Allurion balloon does not require any sedation. The entire process can be performed in approximately 15 minutes.
The balloon remains in the stomach for approximately three months. After this time, a portion of the balloon dissolves naturally, deflates, and passes naturally through the body.
Lifestyle considerationswith an Allurion balloon
Immediately after placement, most patients experience some nausea and discomfort for approximately a week. This is normal, as the stomach adjusts to a foreign object. During this time, we offer the patient medication to help with nausea.Eating patterns will also change after the insertion of the balloon. For the first one to two days, we may suggest that you stick to a liquid diet. The size of the balloon allows patients to eat smaller portions and feel full sooner.
As the balloon is temporary, the patient must engage in a new lifestyle, including improved diet and exercise. Over 6 to 12 months, depending on the patient's program, we offer comprehensive lifestyle support, managed by a Doral Health & Wellness dietician, that includes nutritional and exercise counseling to maintain their weight loss.
Results of the Allurion Balloon
Results of the Allurion balloon pill will largely depend on the patient's willingness and ability to change their lifestyle with the help of the balloon. Preliminary data shows that over 70% of patients with the ellipse gastric balloon achieved at least 10% total body weight loss compared to less than 10% through diet and exercise alone.
The gastric balloon pill risks are somewhat lower compared to both surgical and endoscopic options, which require sedation. A consultation is required to discuss risks specific to the patient’s particular circumstances.Not all patients will qualify for the gastric balloon pill. For some, surgery may be a better option, especially in severe obesity and chronic comorbidities such as diabetes. Therefore, the first step is to schedule a consultation at the Doral Health & Wellness Bariatric Center and learn more about this and all your weight loss options.