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Overview of the gastric balloon procedure

Until now, overweight patients were stuck between a rock and a hard place, so to speak. They could attempt to lose the pounds with diet and exercise, or even diet medications, or they could opt for a more aggressive procedure such as bariatric surgery, which carries with it greater risks, downtime and post-operative discomfort.

With the introduction of the Orbera and Reshape gastric balloons, the client is now able to receive safe, effective support physically while they work on lifestyle changes with their medical team. The balloon stays in place only six months – similar to abdominal training wheels – after which the patient learns to observe portion control on their own. This two-part technological and behavioral approach has seen clients lose up to 3 times more weight than they do with just diet and exercise alone, in most cases around 30-40% of their total excess body weight.

A brief history of the gastric balloon

The first gastric balloon dates back to 1985. It was a circular implant filled with air rather than water, and though it had some limited success, gastric band marketing and promotion eclipsed the burgeoning non-surgical device’s ascent. Scientists and surgeons kept improving the gastric balloon design, however, and in 2015, the FDA approved both the Orbera single sphere and Reshape dual sphere for use in the continuing North American fight against obesity.

What is gastric balloon? What is gastric balloon?

How does the procedure work?

After the patient is sedated, the doctor uses a slender endoscope (medical tubular camera) to thread a deflated silicone balloon through the mouth and throat down to the stomach. The soft balloon is gently filled with a saline solution, where it will create a sensation of abdominal fullness for the next six months, helping to curb hunger impulses, destructive snacking and portion blindness. Placement of the gastric balloon typically takes less than 30 minutes, and patients can return to work the next day.

During phase one of the Athenix gastric balloon program, the patient receives in-depth counseling and nutritional advice, forming a new healthy lifestyle that will support long term weight loss. The balloon is then removed at the six-month mark, but mentoring continues for up to one year, solidifying the client’s progress and setting them up for success.

What is gastric balloon? What is gastric balloon?

Determining your candidacy for gastric balloon

The only hard and fast rules for undergoing the procedure are that clients be at least 18 and have a BMI of 30 to 40. This is the range for which the FDA has determined the balloon to be most safe and effective, so treating someone with a BMI of 55 for instance would be considered “off-label” and may not be in the patient’s best interest.

While patients who have had previous bariatric surgery would not be candidates for the gastric balloon, those considering a more aggressive surgical procedure in the future can still benefit from the temporary improvements afforded by the device. Other contraindications include GI tract infections or inflammation, pregnancy, addiction issues and regular use of aspirin or other similar medications.

It’s important to note that the most successful candidates are willing to follow instructions, commit to the full 12-month program and open their minds to a completely new mode of living, both physically and mentally. In other words, those who are willing to undergo a total lifestyle change will see more positive results than those merely looking for a quick weight-loss scheme aimed at preparing them for a certain occasion or event.

Getting started

To find out if the gastric balloon suits your goals and needs, you will receive a free, confidential consultation with one of Athenix’ specialized, board certified physicians in the comfort of our beautiful Fresno office suites. During this initial session, the doctor will learn about your medical history and prior attempts to lose weight, answer your questions and concerns, and formulate a unique two-phase treatment plan tailored specifically with you in mind.

What is gastric balloon? What is gastric balloon?

Before treatment

Avoid the following before treatment:

  • No eating or drinking for 12 hours
  • Arrange to be picked up by a friend, family member or assistant after balloon insertion
  • Schedule help with chores or childcare in the first 24 hours, if needed
What is gastric balloon? What is gastric balloon?

Where is my Fresno gastric balloon treatment performed?

In order to provide our patients with the highest levels of privacy, cost-effectiveness and personalized attention, all procedures take place at our Fresno outpatient facility, the Athenix Body Sculpting Institute. This immaculate, technologically advanced medical center has been accredited by the IMQ (the Institute for Medical Quality) as specified by the State Medical Board of California. Accreditation involves ongoing facility inspections and strict maintenance of extended safety protocols. We are home to among the most cutting edge equipment, diagnostic, imaging and monitoring tools, and have a reputation for being ahead of the curve when it comes to groundbreaking 21st century body sculpting techniques.

In addition to its medical excellence, the Athenix Body Sculpting Institute is a paragon of comfort and discretion, offering clients a pleasant, rewarding stay from intake through recovery. From our stylish, climate controlled waiting rooms to our state-of-the-art surgical theater, we provide an atmosphere that ensures your treatment is successful and stress-free.

What is gastric balloon? What is gastric balloon?

General guidelines for dietary change

New eating habits will include:

  • Chew your food more carefully, savoring each bite
  • Select smaller portions and affirm this is your new normal
  • Eat more proteins and less simple carbohydrates
  • Avoid the ‘heavy-hitters’ such as sweets, caffeine, fat-based salad dressings, fake sugars and soft drinks
  • Replace French fries and bread with lightly steamed vegetables
  • Complete meals earlier in the evening and don’t eat before bed
  • Smoking is out of the question!
  • Keep your scheduled Fresno follow-up appointments with Athenix
  • Tell yourself you’re doing a great job every single day!
What is gastric balloon? What is gastric balloon?

Incorporating exercise

Whether you have used exercise in the past to lose weight or not, it will now become your new favorite friend. Our caring, friendly trainers and coaches will work with you to figure out the activities you naturally enjoy and gravitate towards.

Sometimes exercise can mean walking to work rather than riding the bus, or doing household chores yourself rather than hiring a professional cleaner. It can also mean joining your local YMCA or a co-ed soccer team in the neighborhood. The possibilities are endless, as long as you find something that you feel is manageable and fun. Before long you will feel that moving your body is an absolute pleasure, rather than a punishment.

What is gastric balloon? What is gastric balloon?

What makes Fresno’s Athenix Body Sculpting Gastric Balloon Center unique?

For years, Athenix has been known to Fresno area clients as a trusted leader in body sculpting technology, from our advanced VASER liposuction treatment to our phenomenal body lifts and Mommy Makeovers. Today we are pleased to include the gastric balloon procedure in our arsenal of tools to help clients live the healthiest, happiest lives possible.

Our physicians are all board certified body contouring specialists who spend their free time investigating the newest techniques and trends in the industry to bring you next-level results. Whether they are attending networking events, seminars and conferences, or publishing their work in peer-reviewed journals, our doctors are continuously evolving, keeping their skills and knowledge base sharp on a daily basis.

What is gastric balloon? What is gastric balloon?

Athenix would be nothing without our support staff. Our kind, experienced RN’s, medical assistants and technicians strive to go the extra mile, not only doing their utmost to provide a safe, comfortable environment, but doing it all with a smile.

During your gastric balloon program, you will also receive additional reinforcement from our affiliated dieticians and nutritionists who will work with you to create customized meals that you can both enjoy and feel good about eating. You will receive in-depth coaching for up to 12 months, an incredible value in terms of lifelong insight on health and longevity.

Schedule a new patient consultation at no charge and find out if the gastric balloon procedure is right for you.

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