This method is an alternative for people with overweight and moderate obesity. It consists of a balloon that is placed inside the stomach through the patient’s mouth, with the use of endoscopy and sedation. This balloon is inflated with liquid and is left inside the stomach, hence producing a sensation of fullnes and contributing to reduce the hunger feeling. This method must be followed with a strict and careful diet, as well as necessary life habit changes, in order to achieve notable weight losses. The balloon can be left inside the stomach for as long as six months, and does not need hospitalization for the procedure.
When the gastric balloon is placed, the patient must have a close follow up with the nutritionist to gain changes in their eating habits that will allow weight reduction and maintenance of the new weight. The principal inconvenient of this method is the great variability in the results (some patients will have small decreases in their overweight while others may loose up to 15 - 20 kg). Nobody in the world uses this technique as definitive treatment for morbid obesity since its use is temporary (6 months maximum), and this time period would not be enough to produce changes in weight of someone with this type of obesity. It can be used in selected cases of patients with extreme obesity to produce the initial reduction and obtain healthier conditions for a future bariatric surgery.