Frequently Asked Questions
Once introduced into the body, the saline-filled balloon will occupy about one third of the stomach cavity. This decreases the quantity of food that the stomach can hold. The presence of the balloon also interferes with stomach emptying so that food stays in the stomach longer. Together, these effects promote eating smaller quantities of food.
The Spatz3 intragastric balloon has several advantages.
1) It is adjustable, which means it is dynamic and its volume can be changed as your needs change.
2) It is approved for longer implantation time in comparison to other products in the market.
Spatz3 is the first balloon to have both of these advantages. Leaving a balloon in the stomach longer without changing the volume of the balloon is not likely to produce greater weight loss. The longer implantation time also gives you longer behavior modification time which yields longer lasting behavioral changes.
A standard endoscopy with sedation is performed. If no abnormalities are found, the gastric balloon is inserted via the mouth into the stomach – all under sedation. Once inside the stomach, the balloon is filled with sterile saline through a small filling tube attached to the balloon.
Placements of the balloon and adjustment procedures take approximately 15 minutes, after which patients are monitored for approximately 1 hour and then sent home.
The intragastric balloon is designed to assist with weight loss in people who have 10 kilograms or more (22 lbs or more) of weight to lose, or those individuals with a BMI greater than 27 (In some countries, the standard is a BMI greater than 30).
Spatz3 can also be used for people who are not suitable candidates for weight loss surgery or are afraid to undergo weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery such as Gastric Bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy, Lap Band surgery and others). The use of the balloon may assist in reducing weight prior to any surgery, therefore reducing the risks associated with surgical procedures. The Spatz Gastric Balloon is the ideal noninvasive alternative to bariatric surgeries.
The Spatz Intragastric Balloon can be placed in the stomach for a twelve month period. (Outside of the US).
While you use the balloon, your physician will prescribe a course of oral medication to reduce your stomach acid (this may reduce the possibility of stomach irritation and damage to the balloon).
Your doctor will place a blue liquid inside the balloon so that if the balloon leaks, the blue liquid will come out and turn your urine green. Should this happen, your doctor should be notified immediately and schedule prompt removal of the balloon.
It is important for you to understand that the intragastric balloon is a tool to help reach weight loss and must be used in conjunction with a planned diet, exercise and a behavior modification program. The amount of weight you lose (and maintain) will depend on how closely you follow your diet and adopt long-term lifestyle changes. Average weight losses of approximately 16 kg (35 lbs) to 25 kg (55 lbs) have been reported with the Spatz balloon.
There is a possibility that you will lose only a small amount of weight or lose no weight at all while using the balloon. Of course, your commitment to dietary and behavioral changes will determine your success.
There is also a chance that unhealthy, uncontrolled weight loss will occur and create adverse health consequences. Be sure to speak with your physician about this.
It is very likely that the presence of the balloon in the stomach will cause nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain of varying intensity for a few days after placement. Your physician will prescribe medication to help minimize these potential effects, but these side effects can possibly persist during the first week.
After the first week, once you start eating regularly, side effects will be related to the quantities or types of food that you eat. You may experience bloating, belching, pain, nausea, vomiting or heartburn related to eating incorrectly.
There will be discomfort during the first few days after the procedure. From then on, with the intragastric balloon you may experience any of the following; a feeling of fullness, heaviness, bloating, or nothing at all until you overeat.
You should plan at least 3 to 4 days of inactivity to recover from the procedure. You can gradually resume normal activity sooner or later than this depending on how quickly your body adjusts to the stomach balloon.
The follow-up “Own It” program is critical to success of the balloon and in learning new lifestyle skills. You will meet with your Doctor several times over the course of the year. It is most important to meet with your dietician/nutrition counselor at least once or twice-a-month while the gastric balloon is in place. Patients who follow up more frequently have a greater chance of success! During this time, your progress will be evaluated and you will learn valuable principles of health, nutrition and exercise that will provide you with a foundation for long-term success.
When you feel that the balloon has less effect or when weight loss diminishes, it is time for your balloon volume to be increased. Gastric balloon effect diminishes after 2 to 4 months, and you can expect to have your first balloon adjustment usually after 4 months. It can be done more than once and requires a simple 15 minute endoscopy procedure with sedation. The balloon volume can also be decreased in cases of balloon intolerance.
The Spatz3 Intragastric balloon is removed in a 15 minute procedure in the same way it was placed, via the mouth and esophagus using endoscopy under sedation.
During the first week of the procedure you should not plan to follow your routine activities. Once your body has adjusted to the balloon you can continue your normal activities. Starting a regular exercise program is highly recommended and will improve your success.
Alcohol in small amounts (such as, two glasses of wine per week) is fine. Alcohol consumption raises the risk of ulceration.
You will not feel like eating as much as you once did. Excessive overeating while the gastric balloon is in place can cause symptoms such as bloating , belching, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, cramping and, if continued, can impede progress and cause excessive vomiting, dehydration and ultimately, such symptoms may become dangerous.