Gastric Balloon

A Gastric Balloon is a temporary surgical procedure involving a soft, expandable gastric balloon being inserted into the stomach to help create a feeling of early and prolonged fullness after meals.

The procedure is minimally invasive and performed under sedation at several different locations throughout South East Queensland.

Our team will guide you through the necessary dietary and lifestyle interventions which are essential to achieve optimal results in accompaniment to the surgery.

The gastric balloon can be inserted for a period of 6 or 12 months and is an ideal weight loss solution for individuals looking to lose between 10-20kg.

We have been helping individuals achieve their weight loss goals for over 25 years.

Gastric Balloon Procedure

Learn more about the surgical procedure

Our Process

Learn more about our results driven process at the Sunnybank Obesity Centre.

Pricing Information

Find out more information about surgical pricing

Our Stories

Hear some stories from individuals that have had surgery.

How it works

The Gastric Balloon is temporarily inserted into the stomach in a deflated state and then inflated with sterile water through a self-sealing valve. This helps to create a feeling of early and prolonged fullness after meals – a foundation for weight loss.

The intra-gastric balloon can remain in place for a period of 6 or 12 months. It provides a kick-start to healthy weight loss and is an ideal solution if you are looking to lose between 10-20kg but are fearful of surgery, fed up with diets, pills and other weight loss programs that have not previously worked.

Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.

The Procedure

The Gastric Balloon procedure is minimally invasive and can be performed under local anaesthesia at different locations throughout South East Queensland.

Operating time varies but traditionally the surgery takes between 20-30 minutes.

Following the procedure patients are required to stay in hospital for 1-2 hours post procedure to monitor conditions.

Am I Candidate for Surgery?

There are several factors that our team assess when determining eligibility for surgery.

Some of these factors include (but not limited to)

  • BMI
  • Age (all candidates must be over 16 years of age),
  • Previous weight loss experience
  • Overall weight loss goals
  • Willingness to participate in the necessary lifestyle and dietary programs which are essential to long term weight loss success.

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    Gastric Balloon FAQS

    What sort of weight loss can I expect with the Gastric Balloon?

    The Gastric Balloon is  ideal weight loss solution for individuals looking to lose between 10-20kg.

    Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.

    Is the Gastric Balloon system right for me?

    Here are some of the things we will consider when evaluating your candidacy for obesity surgery. The gastric balloon system may be right for you if

    • You are at least 16 years old
    • Your BMI is 30 or higher or you weigh at least twice your ideal weight or you weigh at least 70 pounds (about 30 kg) more than your ideal weight
    • You have been overweight for more than 5 years
    • Your serious attempts to lose weight have had only short-term success
    • You do not have any other disease that may have caused your obesity
    • You are prepared to make substantial changes in your eating habits and lifestyle
    • You are willing to continue being monitored by the specialist who is treating you
    • You do not drink alcohol in excess
    • You are willing to add exercise to your daily regime
    • You are willing to make changes to your eating habits

    If you do not meet the BMI or weight criteria, you still may be considered for an alternative weight loss procedure. Please consult our clinical staff for further information on other programs that we offer.

    Contra-indications for the Gastric Balloon

    You may not be a candidate for the procedure if any of the following conditions are present (these should be discussed with your physician during your initial consultation):

    • Previous history of GI surgery, obstruction, adhesive peritonitis or large hiatal hernia
    • Severe renal, hepatic or pulmonary disease diagnosis
    • Chronic, long-term NSAID (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) treatment
    • Unwillingness to adopt the dietary habits critical to the success of the therapy
    • Drug or alcohol addiction in the last 12 months
    • Pregnancy

    As with all medical procedures, there are potential risks of unforeseen, unknown or adverse reactions to medications and the procedure itself. Please discuss your questions, concerns and expectations about the Gastric Balloon System with the physician and carefully evaluate the potential benefits and risks.

    What risks associated with the procedure?

    All surgeries have elements of risk and danger and modern surgeons are very familiar with the risk factors involved with their specialty. But obesity can also be very risky. Obese patients tend to have considerable risks to their health and lives and a reduction in weight by surgery assists in reducing these risks.

    Listed below are some potential risks of surgery and how we aim to minimise them:

    • Fasting before surgery dehydrates patients, they are asleep, and the patient is operated upon in a semi-sitting position using pressure of inert gas to allow enough space for the surgeon to view the stomach safely. All of these factors increase risk. An experienced surgeon will rehydrate a patient with an intravenous drip, inject a blood-thinning agent under the patient’s skin and use calf massaging stockings and early mobilization to reduce the risks of clotting in veins.
    • Pneumonia and breathing problems may occur. A respiratory implement called aTriflo, comprising three balls, will be provided to increase lung function, to diminish these problems.
    • Infection: antibiotics will be used intravenously during the operation and hospital stay to decrease the risk of infection, for all skin is potentially infected with a patient’s own skin bacteria and those bugs living in hair follicles, for example, can never be truly sterilized. Wherever possible, the surgeon will assess and reduce these risks. A foreign, though inert, material is being implanted about the stomach with the reservoir in the fatty tissue of the abdominal wall which may be at risk of local infection.
    • Bleeding within the abdominal cavity, technical problems with large fragile liver tissue, and previous surgery are common intra-operative problems. Further more obese patients are at a higher risk of suffering from heart and lung problems during and after surgery such as heart attacks or a need for assistance to breathe, requiring admission to the Intensive Care Unit.

    All care is taken to avoid the problems mentioned but still they might occasionally occur. Surgery is a dangerous occupation and it is vital that you, the patient, understand the process of decision and choices that are available to you to lose weight. There is also a need to understand how to maintain that loss.

    Can I have the surgery if I don't have Private Health Insurance?

    Yes you can have surgery without any private health insurance. However, it is expensive as the private hospital charges can be reasonably high.

    Can I use my superannuation to pay for surgery?

    Yes. There is a process involved and we can facilitate this.

    How much will the procedure cost?

    The cost depends on the type of bariatric procedure and whether you are privately insured or not. Once again a writing quote is provided to all the patients at the end of the initial consultation and it is up to the patient whether or not they chose to proceed with the surgery.

    Do I have to see the specialist team prior to surgery?

    Yes, following the initial consultation with the surgeon, you will be referred to a dietitian, exercise physiologist and a psychologist for further consultation.

    What happens after I have the balloon inserted?

    For the first week you will be on a liquid diet with instructions to drink plenty of fluids. After the first week, you can begin the transition to a solid diet with recommendations from your dietician (see balloon protocol).

    The first few days will be uncomfortable as the stomach gets used to the presence of the balloon.

    Predictable side effects most patients experience include nausea, vomiting and cramping over the first week. Your physician can prescribe medications to assist you until your body adjusts. These conditions are normal and should be expected. Your physician will provide strict instructions for your hydration regimen during this period.

    It is critical that you drink plenty of water during the first few days and avoid eating any solid foods.

    Important Reminders

    • Do not engage in any physical activity for the first 24 to 48 hours.
    • Drink cold liquids in small amounts, beginning with a teaspoon, and slowly increasing the amount of the liquid as you are able. If liquid is taken in large amounts there is a higher risk of nausea and vomiting.
    • Your clinic will be on call the first 24 hours or provide you with an emergency contact to handle any reactions or distress you may encounter.
    • During the six months period that the Gastric Balloon System is in place, you should meet with your team regularly to monitor your progress. In addition, you will receive education and training on the nutrition and the lifestyle changes you must make to have long-term success. After the intra-gastric balloon is removed, you will continue to meet with your team for additional support and guidance as needed.

    It is critical that you attend all the meetings with your team to ensure the success of the procedure and monitor your progress.

    Your success with the Gastric Balloon System will depend on how committed you are to learning from your support team and adopting the principles of good health into your daily life.

    Post Surgery FAQS

    What some helpful tips post procedure?

    • Arrange to have assistance when you return home from the procedure.
    • Fasting is required (no solid food or liquids) for 12 hours prior to the procedure(we will provide you with a written protocol which gives youa detailed account of fasting rules prior to the intragastric balloon placement).
    • Stock your kitchen with the necessary post-procedure food and liquids as instructed by your dietician (see the protocol).
    • Plan for at least 48 to 72 hours of inactivity after the procedure.



    Are there any fees associated with post surgery care?

    Balloon patient consultations post insertion are bulk billed for the period of the balloon being in place and up to 2 months post removal.

    Removing the Gastric Balloon

    After six (6) or twelve months(12) (depending on the type of balloon), the intra-gastric balloon will be removed in a 20-minute procedure similar to that of the placement. During the removal procedure, you will be sedated and your doctor will remove the sterile saline from the balloon before removing the deflated balloon from your stomach. It is important to read the “removal of balloon instructions” and adhere to them otherwise the doctor may have to delay the removal procedure.

    Important reminders to prepare for removal day:

    • Fasting is required per mouth (no liquids) 12 hours prior to the procedure There are a number of instructions which you will need to follow prior to ballon removal (see balloon removal protocol).
    • Arrange to have assistance when you return home from the treatment centre

    Are there fees associated with removing the Gastric Balloon?

    Fees associated with the procedure involving removing the balloon are included in the cost of the overall procedure.

    Our team are happy to discuss costs involved with the procedure. Please contact our team for more information.

    Unsure about the best surgical option for you?

    Book your obligation free consultation with our specialist team today to discuss your options.