Balloon Procedure Offers Weight Loss without Surgery

A new outpatient procedure that doesn’t involve surgery can provide patients with the opportunity to lose weight, even if their past attempts have proven unsuccessful.

“We’re really excited about it,” said Orlando Icaza, MD, a bariatric (weight-loss) surgeon with Springfield Clinic and bariatric medical director for the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center.

The outpatient procedure implants an intragastric balloon in the patient’s stomach. The silicone balloon filled with saline is placed into the stomach through the mouth while the patient is under general anesthesia. Then, it’s removed after six months.

Approved by the FDA, the balloon helps patients feel full and decreases their hunger. Depending on their starting weight, Dr. Icaza said most patients can expect to lose 30–50 pounds in six months.

“It is safe and proven to be effective for that six-month period,” Dr. Icaza said.

Side effects for some patients can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and reflux. Symptoms typically occur in the first 1–2 weeks after placement. To minimize those side effects, the Weight Loss & Wellness Center works with patients before the procedure and through the first two weeks post-procedure. Recovery time is fast for patients.

Follow-up is important, and patients work with a board certified weight-loss physician, physical therapist and dietitian to help them maintain their weight loss.

Find out more about this approach to weight loss, or sign up for a monthly support group, where Dr. Icaza discusses all weight-loss procedures offered at the Weight Loss & Wellness Center.

Orlando Icaza, MD, is a general surgeon with Springfield Clinic, specializing in bariatric and laparoscopic surgery. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine and completed his residency at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery.