The gastric balloon or intragastric balloon is an inflatable medical device that is temporarily placed into the stomach to reduce weight. It is marketed to provide a weight loss option in selected patients when diet and exercise have failed and surgery is not wanted or not recommended.
The device is intended to be used in patients with a body mass index of more than 27 kg/m2. or between 30 and 40 kg/m2 and have weight-related co-morbidity. It should not be applied to patients with certain intestinal problems such as inflammatory bowel disease or delayed gastric emptying, who are pregnant, or who are taking daily aspirin medication.
When losing weight patients may also experience improvement in co-morbidities such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes.
The balloon approach may be used prior to another bariatric surgery in order to assist the patient to reach a weight which is suitable for surgery, further it can also be used on several occasions if necessary.