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The gastric balloon throughout history

In 1985, the first gastric balloon was created. Flaws in its design as well as the growing popularity of gastric banding kept the general public from enjoying the benefits of the gastric balloon. Over time, scientists and doctors refined the stomach balloon’s engineering, creating a viable alternative to bariatric surgery. For decades alternative stomach balloons have been in use throughout the world, however it was just in 2015 that the Orbera and Reshape technologies were finally approved by the FDA for use in the United States.

The gastric balloon represents a bridge between more invasive bariatric surgery and more traditional paths of weight loss such as dieting, diet pills and exercise. For those who do not wish to suffer the side effects of general anesthesia or undergo the long recuperation necessary for incisions, the stomach balloon is a safe, easy alternative that helps take the weight off quickly.

In general, the gastric balloon is between 2 and 3 times as effective as working out or dieting on their own. What's more, the gastric balloon program involves rigorous counseling and support, which facilitates an entire lifestyle change rather than a narrow focus on shedding the pounds.

What is the difference between the Orbera and Reshape technologies?

Both types of gastric balloons require that participants be over 18 and have a BMI between 30 and 40. Clients must not have undergone bariatric surgery in the past and must have no active substance abuse problems or liver diseases. The Orbera is a single sphere saline filled balloon. Reshape is a double sphere balloon that requires a co morbidity or secondary obesity related ailment such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea or diabetes.

How does the gastric balloon work?

The simple concept behind the gastric balloon technology is that a full stomach will signal the brain to stop craving excess food. The saline filled balloon acts as a place filler, allowing the client a reprieve from compulsive overeating.

After being mildly sedated, the client will experience an endoscopic insertion of the balloon through the esophagus. The endoscope is there to help guide the procedure in a more detailed fashion. Note that the amount of saline can be controlled to provide greater or lesser sensations of fullness.

Treatment takes on average 30 minutes and the balloon stays in place for 6 months. After this initial period, the device is then removed. Lifestyle coaching and nutritional counseling continue however for the entire 12 months.

Am I good candidate for the procedure?

Gastric balloon treatment may be ideal for you if you:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Require a minimum weight loss of 25 pounds
  • Have a BMI of between 30 and 40
  • Have not undergone bariatric surgery and are not ready to try it
  • Suffer from confidence issues, depression or frustration over your weight
  • Are committed to completing the entire year of lifestyle counseling
  • Are dedicated to following up in the Seattle area with appointments
  • Are not pregnant or nursing
  • Can tolerate endoscopic insertion of the device
  • Are addiction free without substance abuse problems
  • Do not suffer from serious mental illness
  • Have been unsuccessful with losing weight through traditional methods such as dieting and working out

Preparing for treatment

As you prepare for your Seattle gastric balloon treatment, you will need to attend at least one consulting session with our team of weight loss specialists. We will delve into your medical history, explore your prior attempts at weight loss, and create a personalized game plan for your success. Part of our strategy often means consulting with your primary care doctor or working with other physicians in your life, especially when a co morbidity is in place.

On the day of your treatment, you will need to abstain from both food and liquids for 12 hours before the procedure. You may also need to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home from the Seattle Athenix Institute, as you will be mildly sedated.

Where safety, convenience and privacy converge

Although our physicians can boast hospital privileges at multiple institutions around Seattle, we are proud to offer treatment at our own accredited in house medical facility, the Seattle Athenix Institute. Here you will find lower costs, greater conveniences and a surplus of privacy and discretion. Most clients come to feel that our facility is their home away from home. From our welcoming reception area to our state-of-the-art surgical theater and tranquil recovery suites, we aim to please.

Balloon insertion

The balloon insertion process is easy and typically occurs without incident. You will be mildly sedated, but the entire procedure takes only 30 minutes and you are free to return to work or school the following day as there is no extended downtime associated with surgery.

The gastric balloon is inserted using an endoscope, or tiny tubular camera, which helps the physician to monitor your progress minute by minute. Once the balloon is in place in the abdomen, it is filled with a customized amount of saline solution.

Once the procedure is complete, you will be escorted to the recovery zone where you will be under observation for several hours to ensure no serious side effects result. It is very rare but some patients do experience nausea or discomfort once the device has been inserted. These uncomfortable sensations can be treated through prescription to antinausea medication given to you by your doctor, however. In general, side effects tend to abate within 24 hours.

The role of exercise

Before treatment, many clients experienced exercise as a punishment or a chore. Many tried to work out as hard as they could but had no weight loss results from the experience. Therefore exercise can be controversial and can cause resistance. These emotions are normal and to be expected. Our team of dedicated personal trainers is more interested in reviving your sense of fun and your sense of adventure. We will work with you to find physical activities that spark your imagination. You do not have to exercise like anyone else; you can maintain your identity and still shed the pounds. Physical exercise such as dancing, skateboarding or skiing are perfectly acceptable forms of getting the endorphins going.

Following up long-term

After the first 6 months of weight loss, your weight may plateau. This is when you have to be especially cautious against dropping out or losing interest in the gastric balloon program. It's important to continue for the entire 12 months to reap the benefits of ongoing nutritional counseling and lifestyle coaching. As you learn to monitor your emotions as well as your portions, a long-term approach to being in a healthy body will emerge.

A word about Athenix

Athenix Body Sculpting is among Seattle's top specialists in dynamic body contouring as well as in cosmetic procedures. We have a long-term reputation for superior results, trustworthy client relationships and affordability. Why not call and schedule your free initial session today so that we can meet in person and get to know each other better?

Unlike many of our competitors, Athenix takes an unusual amount of time to gather all medical information and to complete comprehensive pre treatment testing, liaising with your primary care physician. We screen you for undiagnosed medical issues, record all current medications, and put you on a round of antibiotics to knock out infection before the procedure. Throughout the entire 12 months you will continue to be monitored meticulously by all our healthcare professionals. This commitment to your well-being is at the core of our philosophy and informs all our decisions during treatment.

Contact us today to schedule your free confidential Seattle-area consultation!

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