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How Does a Gastric Balloon Work?

How Does a Gastric Balloon Work?

Gastric balloons — a nonsurgical weight loss solution — are gaining popularity over a more invasive gastric bypass surgery, but how does a balloon compare to a surgical procedure when it comes to weight loss? 

Below, Eric Ibegbu, MD, answers a common question: How do gastric balloons work?

A gastric balloon helps change your eating habits

Gastric balloons support weight loss by helping you adopt eating habits that support weight loss. Once we insert the balloon (either endoscopically or by having you swallow a capsule), we inflate it.

The inflated gastric balloon gives you a sense of fullness, which encourages you to eat smaller portions. You feel fuller quicker and are less inclined to snack between meals. 

Gastric balloons are not permanent. They remain in your stomach for a specified length of time before we remove them. By identifying key eating habits and following a balanced diet, you can reach your weight loss goal and maintain it over time δΈ€ even after the balloon is removed.

The most alluring aspect of gastric balloons is that all of this is done without any incisions, cutting, or removal of any part of your stomach.

The exact specifics depend on which type of balloon you receive. Here at Atlantic Medical Group, we offer many options, including Obalon®, ORBERA®, and Spatz3 Adjustable Balloon System.


The Obalon® Balloon System is an FDA-approved swallowable balloon. To place these gastric balloons, you swallow a capsule attached to a small tube (inflation catheter). Once the capsule is in place, Dr. Ibegbu inflates the balloon via the inflation tube. 

You may receive up to three balloons to help you achieve your goals. Because this is a three-balloon system (and we place each balloon two weeks apart), your body has more time to adjust to the changes in your appetite, which improves your overall experience.

After six months, we remove the Obalon balloons via nonsurgical endoscopy.


ORBERA is a gastric balloon filled with sterile saline solution designed to help teach portion control. Dr. Ibegbu places the deflated balloon in your stomach, and once it's in place, he inflates it until it's about the size of a grapefruit. Like Obalon, it remains in place for about six months.

Spatz3 Adjustable Balloon System

The Spatz3 Adjustable Balloon System is similar to the other gastric balloon systems, but this one is adjustable. Like OBERA, Spatz3 balloons are also placed endoscopically without any incisions or sutures. 

Unlike the previous two gastric balloons, the Spatz3 system is a 12-month treatment. Throughout the course of your treatment, we adjust the balloon as needed to help you reach your goals. 

For instance, adjusting the volume of the balloon about four months into your treatment can help you get over the typical weight loss plateau at that stage.

After the balloon is removed

Regardless of which balloon you receive, we remove it either at the six-month mark or the 12-month mark. Without the gastric balloons, you enter into a maintenance phase. 

Dr. Ibegbu supports you throughout this phase to help you maintain your weight loss with lifestyle modifications, proper portion control, and nutritional supplements.

To learn more about gastric balloons and to find out which one is right for you, call our office today. You can also schedule an appointment for our Kinston and Jacksonville, North Carolina, offices via our online tool.

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