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This is a balloon inserted into your stomach either by swallowing it, or requiring insertion under guidance with a gastroscopy. Depends on the balloon used, the balloon can stay within the stomach for 4 to 12 months duration. After which, the balloon can either be passed out by itself via the alimentary tract, or require a gastroscopy to retrieve the balloon.

What is a gastric balloon?


How do you insert this intra-gastric balloon?

​There are 2 types of intra-gastric balloon. The Allurion Elipse is a swallowable balloon that do not require gastroscopy guided insertion. There are other gastric balloons that requires gastroscopy guided insertion, and they have been approved for a longer duration within the stomach.

What are the benefits of the procedure?

Depends on the type of balloon used, it can stay for a period of 4 months to 12 months.

Can it be removed earlier?

Yes. While most patients are able to tolerate the balloon within the stomach to achieve the maximum weight loss effect, a minority of patients may not be able to tolerate and request for the intra-gastric balloon to be removed early. This can be done with gastroscopy and is a day procedure, meaning you do not need to stay in hospital overnight.


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Who are suitable for intra-gastric balloon?

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  • Patients who are overweight with a BMI of >27.5, or patients not keen to undergo surgery, this may be a viable option. For patients who qualify for Bariatric and Metabolic surgery, some patients will consider this as an option as this is not as invasive and permanent when compared to surgery.

  • Patients with obesity health-related conditions like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)

  • Patients who don’t qualify for surgery due to health issues

Who are not suitable for intra-gastric balloon insertion?

  • Patients who have difficulty swallowing

  • Patients who had previous stomach surgery, large hiatal hernia, any structural abnormality of the oesophagus or larynx

  • Have a medical condition that does not permit endoscopy

  • Are not willing to adopt dietary habits and behavioural changes that would make the therapy more successful

  • Are going through drug or alcohol addiction

  • Serious or uncontrolled psychiatric illness

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

  • Children younger than 18 years old

  • Cancer

  • Patients who are immune-compromised

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Gastric balloon removal

Some types of gastric balloon will require a gastroscopy to remove it from the body. The intra gastric balloon is deflated, grabbed and removed with a grasper passed down the gastroscope. The Allurion Elipse balloon will self-deflate after its scheduled time. It will then be passed out of the body.

  • How long will the procedure take?
    Generally, a colonoscopy takes less than 30 minutes. If there are polyps to be removed or abnormalities detected, it may take longer. Any polyps seen will be removed immediately and sent to the laboratories
  • What is a polyp?
    Colorectal polyps are abnormal growth of cells on the inner lining of the colon and rectum. They are common and incidence increases with age. Most polyps are benign (not cancer). But because polyps are caused by abnormal cell growth and, like cancer, grow through rapidly dividing cells, they can become cancerous. Through a colonoscopy, the polyp can be removed and sent for examination by a pathologist. Colonoscopy and removal of polyps decreases the incidence of colorectal cancer. Countries with colorectal cancer screening programs have reported a significant drop in colorectal cancer cases and deaths. This is due to early detection of colorectal polyps with colonoscopy, the removal of which prevents the development of cancer.
  • What is the treatment for colonic polyps?
    The treatment of colonic polyps involves performing a colonoscopy and removing the entire polyp. The removed polyp is then sent for histological examination to determine if it is benign (not cancer) or a malignant change (cancerous) has already occurred. Depending on the number and size of polyps removed, a follow up colonoscopy will be recommended from 1 to 5 years later. If there are any cancer cells found in the polyp, surgery may be required.
  • Can I do my gastroscopy and colonoscopy at the same time?
    Yes, we can schedule for gastroscopy and colonoscopy at the same visit.
  • How long is my recovery time?
    A colonoscopy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you will not have to spend the night in the hospital. With sedation, you will be placed under close monitoring at the endoscopy centre. You will be discharged when it’s safe to do so.
  • What are the alternatives to colonoscopy?
    Colonoscopy remains the gold standard of detecting and removal of colonic polyps. Other options can be considered for patients who are not fit for colonoscopy, or would like a non-invasive option. CT Colonography – this is a virtual colonoscopy performed by a CT scanner. It is being used to screen for polyps in the large intestine. After adequate bowel preparation, a tube is inserted into the rectum to inflate with gas while CT images of the colon and rectum are taken from various angles. Barium Enema – this entity is seldom used nowadays with the advent of CT colonoscopy. It involves using a white solution being inserted into the anus via a tube to coat the lining of the colon. This allows the colonic lining to be visible on X-ray, highlighting any difficulties of the white solution going through indicating an abnormality at the region. While these options are able to detect polyps in the colon, they are not as accurate as colonoscopy. In the event these polyps are found, colonoscopy will still have to be performed to remove them. Colonoscopy is still the recommended method for screening for colorectal cancer. Dr Tan will advice you according to your needs and preferences.
  • What are the risks of this procedure?
    Reaction to the sedation Perforation of the colon is rare, occurring in less than 0.1% of colonoscopy. Bleeding after polypectomies. Please inform Dr Tan if you are on blood thinners or anti-platelets medications. These are usually started if you had a stroke, heart attack or stent placed in your body. These medications are usually started by your GP, cardiologist or neurologist. Bleeding can occur immediately after the scope, or up to 10 days after the procedure. Abdominal Bloating – this usually settles within a day or two after the endoscopy. Sore throat
Frequently Asked Questions
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