This procedure is usually carried out under general anaesthesia. The Orbera Balloon is placed – with the help of an endoscope – into the stomach. The balloon is passed through the mouth down to the oesophagus to reach the stomach. At first the balloon is deflated but as soon as it reaches the stomach, it is inflated by pouring in the saline solution. It remains there for a period of six months and it floats within the stomach. The balloon acts like an artificial bezoar and thus floats freely.

Gastroscopy is carried out just before the insertion of a balloon. It is done to ensure that there is no problem or contraindication in placing the balloon within the stomach.  Around 400ml to 700ml of saline solution is poured into the balloon and that helps in reducing the capacity of the stomach to store food. Thus, it ensures less eating, early fullness and a desired reduction in weight. The overall time for performing this procedure is only 20 to 30 minutes. It’s a day-procedure and no hospital stay is required. In most cases patients go home on the same day.

After this procedure, the patient will be advised of certain dietary and lifestyle modifications. Also, it does not require the taking of long-term medications.

The maximum time of its placement is 6 months and it should be immediately removed after that time, to prevent any complications.

Risks & Complications

The risk and complications that may be associated with ORBERA gastric balloon include:


Intestinal obstruction

This occurs when the balloon is not sufficiently inflated or when leakage occurs from it. The leak fluid then passes from the stomach to the intestine and causes perforation there. It requires immediate medical attention.

Obstruction of the oesophagus

This can occur if the balloon pushes back into the oesophagus. In this case surgery is needed or it can be removed endoscopically.

Poor outcomes

In some people, an immediate weight loss programme can lead to drastic complications in the patient who has undergone the procedure. It is therefore advisable to consider this option thoroughly.

Bacterial Growth

Though, saline is an antiseptic agent, if leakage occurs into the intestine, this can lead to increased risk of infection and its subsequent complications. Usually fever occurs along with the generalized body malaise and discomfort.

These are some of the risks and complications noted so far. Unexpected complications can sometimes occur after this procedure.

Q. How much will I lose weight after this procedure?

A. Studies have indicated that a person can lose weight around 20% of their body weight within 6 months of its use. However, it depends on the person and his/her lifestyle and dietary habits.

Q. What will happen if I overeat after this procedure?

A. Overeating may prove dangerous and can lead to vomiting. So it is advisable to eat within a limit. Due to the placement of the balloon, you will achieve satiety earlier.

Q. What is the recovery time after balloon insertion?

A. As a patient, you are asked to avoid any kind of strenuous activity for at least 5 days. You will be able to recommence normal activity depending on your body’s adjustment to the balloon.

Q. Will people know that I am having a balloon in my stomach?

A. It is impossible for others to know. Since no surgery is carried out, there will be no evident marks or scars.

Q. Is it possible that I will gain weight again after the balloon removal?

A. This totally depends on you and your dietary/other habits. If you eat in moderation and enjoy regular physical activity, then your weight can be maintained.