Intragastric Balloon


Obesity is right now the main worldwide epidemic. There are three hundred million obese persons and a thousand million that are overweight. With all the attention in the media, people are becoming conscious of the health risks associated with being overweight and obese. Heart disease, cerebrovascular accidents, cáncer, arthritis, diabetes or hypertension are some of the consecuences of obesity.
Experts are in agreement that for a weight loss program to be successful not only should you be helped to loose weight but also to maintain this weight loss.

Types of Intragastric Balloon:

  • There are now two kinds of Intragastric Balloon:

  • Conventional Intragastric Balloon: The Conventional Intragastric Balloon is a device that a digestive surgeon or endoscopist places through a gastroscopy into the stomach for no more tan 6 months, it forms part of a global programme that has a duration of 18 months, during which a nutritional doctor controls the patients nutrition with made to measure diets, controlling the patients behaviour through consultations with a psychologist; instilling healthy habits of physical exercise through check-ups performed by specialist doctors in Sports Medicine.
  • Adjustable SPATZ Intragastric Balloon: The Adjustable SPATZ Intragastric Balloon is indicated in patients that must lose more weight, because it is designed for a duration of 12 months, with the possibility of changing its volume through gastroscopy during this time, if the patients characteristics so require it. It is a device placed for a year in which we control nutrition, eating habits, appetite control and physical exercise. The SPATZ Intragastric Balloon programme lasts 18 months.

The Intragastric Balloon has four parts:

  1. Patient selection: A Medical Team of Nutritional doctors, Surgeons and Psychologists will study your case and globally evaluate the possibility of treatment.
  2. Placement of the Intragastric Balloon: It is a soft balloon of silicon that is introduced into the stomach through the mouth and is filled with a sterile saline solution. This provoques a sensation of being full or not being hungry. The Balloon is removed after 6 months to a year, depending on the kind of balloon used, and it collaborates in creating changes in the patients eating habits for the future.
  3. Education, Training and Control: During the controls that the patient will have with the specialist doctor, after the placement of the balloon, you will learn to control your appetite, easily change your eating habits and lead an healthy lifestyle in the long run. This is done thanks to nutritional controls with your doctor, physical exercise patterns directed by a specialist doctor in Sports Medicine, changes in your eating behaviour and changes to psychological aspects in relation to food. While you are learning, your imminent success will motívate you and will make this principles into habits for the rest of your life.
  4. Removal of the Balloon and follow-up: Once the balloon is removed, 6 months or a year after, we will still perform controls and instill new sports and nutritional habits, all with the supervisión of specialist doctors that will help you reach your ultímate goal: Lose weight and keep it off.

The advantages of the Intragastric Balloon Programme over other weight loss programmes are:

  • You will feel full
  • You will lose more weight than just with dietary programmes
  • You will have the support of a Multidisciplinary Team: Nutritional doctors and Sports doctors.
  • Learn near principles to have success in the long run and learn to maintain your weight.
  • All the benefits of a non surgical and non chemical approach to the treatment of obesity.
  • Only your doctor can correctly recommend the kind of balloon ideal for your case.

Patients on the Intragastric Balloon programme can expert to lose a considerable amount of weight during the programme. The amount lost and the time during which you maintain it will depend on how well you adapt the changes that must perform in your own life, related to food and exercise.

The placement itself is done in 15-20 minutes, in the operating room and under superficial sedation. The patient returns home once the sedation has worn off, it is recommended that the patient stay in the clinic about 4-6 hours after the placing of the balloon.
During the first 5 weeks the patient will follow a soft diet, semi-soft, pasty, etc, with instructions to drink lots of liquids and with weekly controls with the doctor.
After then fifth week, the patient can start a solid diet, with the recomendations of the nutritional doctor every 15 days.
During the 6 months or year of the Intragastric Balloon being placed a series of programmed visits with the nutritional doctor, psychologist, Sports Doctor, Acupuncture Doctor will be performed, they will all help to reach the desired goal. In the cases of placement of the Adjustable SPATZ Balloon, there is also two intermediary fillings or emptyings of the balloon, before its definitive removal at 12 months, always depending on the patients needs.
At 6 months or 1 year, the balloon will be removed, under sedation, and in about 15 minutes. After the balloon has been removed, the patient will continue with dietary controls with his nutritional doctor with the object of reinforcing the results obtained with the intragastric balloon, during a period of 6 months to 1 year.

You can only be treated with this procedure if:

  • You are 18 years old or more.
  • You have obesity diagnosis.
  • You compromise yourself to obey a strict medical program.

There are some medical reasons that prevent the procedure to some patients such as:

  • previous medical history in other digestive surgeries, intestinal obstruction, hiatus hernia.
  • Renal, hepatic or pulmonary seriously diagnostic disease. Long term chronic treatment with steroids.
  • Drugs or acohol addiction.
  • Pregnancy. Not being prepared to change the eating habits.

Source: Instituto Medico Miramar


Trip requirements

5 days clinical admission

30 days after surgery

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Medical centres



Vithas Parque San Antonio Hospital
Avda del Pintor Joaquín Sorolla, 2