Intragastric Ballon Surgery

The intragastric balloon is technically a non surgical alternative for short term weight loss. Typically the balloon is left in the stomach for up to six months, after which it has to be removed. The BioEnterics Intragastric Balloon (Bib System) is the most common of intragastric balloons. Although not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, intragastric balloon surgery is common in Europe and other countries and continues to grow.

Why Get an Intragastric Balloon Procedure?
This weight loss surgery is generally performed for one of two reasons. One situation is a patient who may not qualify for other types of weight loss surgery, but does have health problems related to obesity. The other case is a seriously obese patient in which this procedure can help to reduce weight before undergoing a permanent weight loss operation to reduce risk factors with the second operation.

As with all types of weight loss surgery, after an intragastric balloon is inserted, a patient will have to change their diet and eating behaviors. General discomfort is normal for a few days after surgery, until the stomach gets accustomed to its new shape. Nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and cramping are typical, short-lived and manageable side-effects.

Risks Associated with Intragastric Balloon Surgery
Generally the risks of an intragastric balloon procedure are minimal, but as with all surgical options, complications can result. Make sure to consult with one of our medical professionals to fully understand the risks of this surgery.Two specific complications of intragastric balloon surgery are:

  • In rare cases, the balloon can move down the stomach and even into the lower intestine, which can lead to blockages of the stomach and/or intestine and the need for immediate corrective surgery.

  • Bleeding or puncture of the balloon can result from insertion, which would also require a surgical response.

How Does it Work?
The insertion of an intragastric balloon is a relatively short procedure, usually lasting between 15-30 minutes. The surgeon first inspects the inside of the stomach using an endoscopic camera to check for the proper conditions. Then, the balloon is inserted into the mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach. During insertion the balloon is deflated to allow for easy entry to the stomach.

Upon acheiving proper positioning in the stomach, the balloon is inflated with a sterile saline solution using the attached catheter. Once the balloon is properly inflated, the catheter is removed and the balloon self-seals to ensure there is no leakage. Sometimes a dye is also added in the saline solution to notify a patient if the balloon has started to leak.

When finished, the intragastric balloon will float freely in the stomach. Unlike most types of bariatric surgery, this procedure does not affect the body's ability to absorb nutrients. Weight loss is achieved through a redution in the food intake of the patient due to the feeling of fullness that the Bib system induces.

Is the Bib System Right For Me?
Surgery for Obesity Group is experienced with the insertion and care of the Bib System and intragastric balloons. This temporary weight loss procedure may be a good way to induce weight loss in highly obese patients and prepare them for bariatric surgery. Contact one of our weight loss specialists today to see if the Bib System is right for you.


Cirugía Para La Obesidad
Calle 83 # 16A - 44, Office 501. Bogotá, Colombia
PBX:  +57 (1) 7033872

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