Removing The Gastric Balloon: What To Expect During And After

By: GI Alliance


So you got the gastric balloon! Your journey to attaining sustainable weight loss has officially begun. 6 months have flown by and now you’re preparing for the gastric balloon to be removed. While you recall the generalities of the removal, you’re a little fuzzy on the details. Don’t worry! We’re here to answer your questions about gastric balloon removal.

How is the gastric balloon removed?

Like the gastric balloon insertion, you will be given a mild sedative prior to removing the gastric balloon. Using endoscopic equipment, your gastroenterologist will extract the saline solution from the gastric balloon and then remove the deflated gastric balloon through your mouth. The entire procedure generally takes less than 30 minutes. Following a short in-house observation, you are free to leave with your prearranged ride.

How do I prepare for a gastric balloon removal?

Before the gastric balloon is removed, there are three vital steps you must take:
  1. Before the gastric balloon removal procedure—generally 48 hours prior—begin taking the prescribed heartburn medication as directed by your physician. This medication is designed to help counteract any reflux or heartburn that may occur during or after your gastric balloon removal.
  2. For your gastroenterologist to remove the gastric balloon, there must be no solid food in your stomach. This can be achieved by refraining from solid foods for 48 hours prior to the gastric balloon removal procedure. During this time, taking small, frequent sips of low-calorie carbonated beverages, such as diet soda or sparkling water, can help settle your stomach and clean the gastric balloon of any remaining food particles.
  3. Arrange for a ride home:  Due to the mild sedative used during the brief procedure, you will need to stay in-house until the sedative’s effects wear off. Gastroenterology Associates requires that you have a ride home planned before the procedure can take place, as it is not recommended that you drive or operate heavy machinery for 8 hours following sedation.
Failing to follow any of these steps will result in the postponement of your gastric balloon removal procedure.

Will I gain the weight back after the gastric balloon is removed?

The gastric balloon is a temporary, non-surgical procedure designed to jumpstart your weight loss and set you on the path to whole-body health. When the gastric balloon is removed, your stomach’s capacity will return to its previous size. Patients who do not commit to the lifestyle changes they made during the 6-month gastric balloon placement may regain lost weight. When you receive your gastric balloon at Gastroenterology Associates of Baton Rouge, you receive twelve months of coaching from professional nutrition and exercise consultants. As part of the O.N.E. Weigh gastric balloon program, these weight loss experts will work with you during and after your procedure to create diet and exercise programs tailored to you and your body’s needs.