IntraGastric Balloon Weight Management System
The Intragastric Balloon (IGB), also called Gastric Balloon, is a non-invasive procedure that is used for patients to jump-start weight loss. The balloon, inserted with the aid of an endoscope, occupies part of the stomach to make the patient feel full (like gastric sleeve) and stay full longer. The balloon stays in the stomach temporary for a period of 6 to 12 months, based on the balloon type. The patient will get used to portion control and lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise. If the patient follows the balloon weight management system, they can lose up to 50% of their excess weight and maintain it. Otherwise, they can opt to get a more permanent solution such as Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass.
Proper diet and exercise are crucial for patient’s success in the balloon procedure, like any weight loss procedure. We will cover the recommended diet after balloon placement that helps long-term weight loss.
IntraGastric Balloon Diet
Prior to insertion as well as removal of the Gastric Balloon you will need to follow a strict clear liquid diet for two full days (48 hours). You may have nothing after midnight the night prior to your procedure (or a minimum of 12 hours prior). The reason for this is to ensure that there is no solid food left in your stomach that would potentially cause us to have to cancel your procedure.
The types of fluid you can consume during your 48-hour pre-op are:
- Chicken, vegetable, or beef broth
- Sugar-free drinks such as crystal light, Powerade zero, vitamin zero water, propel, etc.
- 100% fruit juice diluted 50/50 with water
- sugar -free jello
- Sugar-free popsicles
* These are the same choices for clear liquids that you will have during stage 1 of your post-op diet so make sure to have plenty of these items available at home.
Immediately following your procedure you will be on the same clear liquids listed above for another 3-5 days. This is Stage 1 of your post-op diet, and the sole purpose of this stage is to stay hydrated. The goal should be to drink 64oz liquid, with a minimum of 48 oz to prevent dehydration. It is important to avoid carbonated beverages, sugary drinks, caffeine, citrus, and alcohol due to the increased chance of heartburn/acid reflux.
The next stage will begin 3-5 days after your procedure and will consist of thick liquids and/or pureed foods. Some items approved during this stage are milk, protein shakes, greek yogurt, soups without chunks, and pureed fruits, beans, and/or vegetables. These items will have the consistency of baby food. It may even be tempting to buy baby food during this time, but it is healthier and extremely simple to make at home. Simply steam or boil your fruits and vegetables until soft, then drain and puree in a food processor or blender. Add salt and seasonings as desired. During stage 2 it is important to avoid large chunks of food, as well as items with a lot of sugar (such as desserts).
The following stage begins 7-10 days after placement of your balloon. At this time you can try semi-solid foods. These foods should be soft, moist, and can be easily mashed with a fork. Some examples of these foods are beans, flakey fish, soft cheese, avocado, banana, unsweetened canned fruit, sweet potato, cooked carrots, peas, and canned green beans. Since you will only be taking in small amounts at a time, it is recommended to have several small meals throughout the day to get enough nutrients. Since you will not be getting as much fluid through your meals, it is important to continue to focus on staying hydrated as well. You should be getting a minimum of 48 oz water or unsweetened liquids in addition to your meals, with a goal of 64oz.
The final stage is your transition to solid foods. This stage will begin as soon as you feel confident with stage 3 foods. The length of time for this transition depends on how your body is adjusting to the process. During stage 4 you can start adding variety back in and create that healthy diet plan that will set the stage for your weight loss journey. Here are the recommended goals for your diet that can provide safe and effective weight loss:
Protein: 75-105 g
Carbohydrates: less than 75g (25-50 for quicker results)
Fats: 45-55 g
Sugar: less than 25 g
Sample Diet Plan:
Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, 1 TB butter, 1 oz vegetables
Snack: Protein shake
Lunch: 3 oz salmon, 2 oz vegetables, 1 TB olive oil
Snack: 1 “triple zero” Greek yogurt
Dinner: 3 oz chicken, 1 TB fat, 2 oz vegetables, beans, or whole grain
Your diet should be focused mostly on lean protein and non-starchy vegetables. Fat is a healthy addition to your diet, however, needs to be monitored; too much fat can negatively impact your weight loss. Fruit, whole grain, and beans are healthy additions as well but should be taken in moderation and preferably be paired with protein.
Here are some tips for healthy habits:
- Eat small 3 small meals & 2 healthy snacks a day
- Eat small and frequent (every 2-3 hours) throughout the day
- One protein shake a day (to replace a snack or a meal)
- Focus on protein
- Pair fruit or grain with protein, for example, fruit with greek yogurt and cracker with cheese
- Keep hydrated with minimum of 64 oz water a day
- Avoid sweets, processed foods, and “doughy” foods (may stick to balloon and cause bad breath)
- Take a good quality multivitamin regularly (no gummies, which contain sugar)
- Track food intake in a food journal or mobile app
- Limit consumption of alcohol
IntraGastric Balloon Exercise
Exercise helps you burn calories and build muscle, which make you lose weight quicker. Start a regular exercise schedule soon after the procedure. A good routine for exercise is 30 minutes for 5 times a week. It is recommended that you start with walking and slowly increase the level of exercise. Please remember that is extremely important to continue the exercise regimen after the gastric balloon is removed to prevent the weight regain.
Discomfort and Nausea:
After the placement of the intragastric balloon, most patients experience some gastric discomfort for the first 5 to 7 days. Discomfort usually includes cramping, nausea, and vomiting. This is normal, as your digestive system is adjusting to the presence of the external object. The discomfort will rarely continue long term. Use the anti-nausea medications as prescribed to help with the symptoms.
Here are some helpful tips to prevent post-op symptoms:
- Watch your posture during meals and while drinking fluids. Sit tall and do not slouch. This will help your balloon position properly and increase your tolerance for foods
- Eat slow and chew well before swallowing
- Stop eating once you feel heartburn (acid reflux)
- No liquids 30 minutes before or after your meal
- Stop eating 3 hours prior to bedtime
- Some discomfort may occur when you lay down – you may need to prop up your pillow.