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Read BEFORE Gastric Balloon for one persons review

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I'm new to this site but feel compelled to give my review of the Adjsutable Gastric Orbera Balloon procedure and weight loss afterwards.

I started at 51 years old 103 kg. I lost 17 kg in a year with the balloon. That was Nov 2014. Now all the weight is back on.

After researching all weight loss surgeries and procedures I really wanted a kick start but not an invasive, risky and permanent surgery which I thought was a bit drastic for my particular circumstances. I have been overweight all my life really. I think I was looking pretty good at age 17 in a bikini but even then I was 70kg.

FIrst child born at age 23 and from then on till age 50 I have fluctuated between 85 and 100 kilos. Kept a bit extra weight on after each of 3 children.

Like most people I have tried all the diets and programs, been regularly walking and to gym, spin class etc and then fallen off the program.

I usually managed a weight loss of 7 - 10 kgs only to put it back on after a plateau or falling off the diet for various reasons. Personal tragedies and medical surgeries can throw anyone off their motivation for weight loss. I never judge anyone who battles the weight issue because you never know what any person has been through. Sometimes your own health and diet is the last thing on your mind because youre doing well getting through the day.

In Nov 2014 I decided to have the Orbera Gastric balloon inserted. Of course you expect to feel a bit nauseous and that was the cases. You have to adhere to a strict Optifast diet then clear Fluid diet before the procedure. This is so there is no risk of food going into your lungs. Its a fast and simple procedure.

Initially I thought this is fantastic!! Drastically reduced appetite. Couldnt manage very fibrous things, cant eat steak or hard meat but I was getting by without feeling faint or weak on so little food I was completely amazed. Like many overweight people I thought I'd be passing out on so few calories. I still managed to eat most things just very small servings.

After a few months you get used to this new reduced stomach size and without CONSCIOUS WILLPOWER you can start to eat more and more. I was NOT eating chocolate cake and rubbish but once again found my servings growing. (One negative i found was that for the entire year I had it in me I had to sleep on my left side as the balloon seemed to slide to my right if I lay on my right side. This caused muscular problems now and then but was just inconvenient and annoying more than anything).

Every few months you go back for a quick anaesthetic (after the usual Optifast then clear Fluid diet) for a top up of the liquid in your balloon. For me this process went like this

Initially - 500ml....After 4 months...700ml.....After 7 months...800ml... After 9 and half months ..900ml. (I was told the Balloon is only guaranteed for a year)

By 11 months I couldnt stand the sick feeling constantly and lack of sleep and had it removed. I was on Nexium for the reflux and nausea for the entire year.

Sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night mid-vomit. It was easier to sleep on your back but I often needed a pillow under my knees.

Summary - I can see that the balloon is a really good kick start tool for somebody who has put on weight but who doesn't eat for emotional reasons, is disciplined, perhaps not a full on foodie, is prepared to really follow a strict Portion Control permanently even after the balloon is removed.

It was my fault and I now realise I MUST be disciplined or nothing will work.

I now feel I really do need a reduced appetite. I am going to a lecture this week about the gastric sleeve surgery. My GP says she has several patients who have had the Gastric Band and the balloon and have later decided to get the sleeve done. I personally dont like the idea of the band for the catching of food around it, nausea etc. Some people I know who have had the sleeve are really pleased. It's my last dash.

I wish you all luck. Just thought my review might help some decide eve though this is just my experience.

Over to sleeve issues now ...

Edited by Ozbird
forgot to add in the weight I lost

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I'm glad I read this! I thought maby this could've worked for me but at "4'11" 230 pds I was morbidly obese and was feeling the comorbidities creeping up on me! I'm glad I got the sleeve though it's "surgery" the risks are low and I went back to work 8 days afterwards. I'm 25 yo and plan to live and see my kids kids :)

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I too had the balloon and it worked well in the beginning I lost weight and felt full. I had to have it removed by 5 months due to an ulcer forming and I also noticed as time wore on I could eat more so the restriction really wasn't there anymore. It was also worrisome to me that I could always feel the balloon and move it when laying down, it just felt unnatural to me. That was last year $8000 out of pocket, failed weight loss and BMI went right back up to 35.

This year I went and had the sleeve done, so far no such issue, there is a permanent restriction and I don't have to worry about ulcers forming or trying to eat around the balloon. My BMI is now down to 30. I don't have problems with reflux, sleeping or getting in enough Protein. I know how to truly think before I eat as eating a piece of cake as opposed to a protein rich snack will affect my weight loss . For me the sleeve was the better option, if I had known what I knew now...

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Every experience really is different. After feeling crummy for a couple of days and feeling hungry for a week or two, I then had great success. I lost weight, never had the balloon adjusted (I didn't even know that was an option with Orbera?), didn't feel sick anymore, didn't feel the restriction reduce, etc.. In fact, I even continued to lose weight after an uneventful removal six months later. It was right for me and I'm glad I did it. Personally, I was just not comfortable with the idea of permanently altering my anatomy. Having said that, I would never say that the balloon right for everyone, but I just knew it was all I needed to get a jump start and to re-establish healthy habits. All I can recommend is that people really do their research, ask a lot of questions, ensure that they have a sufficient support structure and then do what's best for them. Cheers!

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

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