Heliosphere® BAG is a new, effective method of obesity treatment. It allows the patient to experience a feeling of fullness with low food intake. It is recommended especially, however not exclusively, for patients who have failed to achieve a desired effect, using popular methods of weight reduction such as dietetic or pharmacological treatment. Alternatively, this method may be recommended as a treatment preceding the surgery. Heliosphere® BAG use (i.e. intragastric balloon) is highly effective – in a group of 670 patients the reduction of body mass ranged from 9 to 24 kilograms after 6 months. How does the procedure look like? Heliosphere® BAG is inserted with the use of an endoscope by a well-qualified physician. Under short-term sedation or local anaesthesia, a balloon is placed in the stomach with an endoscope. The duration of the procedure is approximately 20 minutes. Following short-term observation, patient may return to their everyday activities.
Heliosphere® BAG is a synthetic balloon, marketed by the French company Helioskopie Medical Implants. It is filled with air and covered on the inside with a thin layer of pure gold. It facilitates both balloon placement and later – its removal. Furthermore, the usage of a biologically inert material increases balloon durability and its resistance to bacteria. Once balloon is filled with air, it moves freely inside the stomach, filling the greater part of its lumen.
So far, intragastric balloon is considered to be the best, non-surgical method of obesity treatment. In the past, balloons were filled with saline. Consequently, they were considerably heavier. These 700 g weighing balloons lead to poorly tolerated nausea and vomiting. The new generations of gastric balloons are filled with air up to 30 g. Such balloon is inserted by endoscopy for a period of 6 months. Then, it is removed or replaced with a new one.
The process of qualifying the patient to the procedure of endoscopic implantation of a gastric balloon comprises: dietetic, psychological and endocrynological consultation, as well as a diagnostic element comprising a blood test, gastroscopy and abdomen ultrasonography.
The patient is accepted to the clinic on the day of the procedure. Before the procedure an anaesthesiological consultation and patients health status examination are performed. The patient is given a form of informed consent to perform the procedure and asked to become acquainted with it and sign it after clarifying the uncertainties. The procedure is performed on short intravenous anaesthesia (sedation), intended for small surgical procedures. The procedure lasts about 20-45 minutes. After the procedure the patient is moved for about 2 hours to an observation ward with a patient status monitor system. Dietetic care is recommended for a 6-months period.
Course of the procedure
The balloon is introduced directly to the stomach though the mouth and oesophagus under control of an endoscope, and next it is filled with air or physiological saline. The aim of the procedure is inducing a feeling of satiety through contact of the balloon with the stomach wall and nerve stimulation, which in effect reduce patient’s craving for taking in large amounts of food.
The balloon is a temporary solution. It is usually introduced for 6 months. During this time the patient should effectively reduce his/her weight. Introducing the balloon into the stomach often constitutes the first step of obesity treatment, before surgical procedures, such as: sleeve gastrectomy or performing a gastric bypass.