Private cosmetic surgery and obesity surgery provider SurgiCare has voiced its high opinion of the gastric balloon, the latest procedure to be added to the company's treatment list.
The balloon is inserted into the stomach while the patient is sedated or under a general anaesthetic and it is then inflated to reduce the amount of space available in the stomach for food.
Unlike traditional liquid-filled balloons, which caused nausea and discomfort, the new gastric balloon is filled with air, meaning that the patient enjoys a faster and safer recovery.
In addition, the balloon is gold-coated to prevent air loss and to make deflation less likely.
Mark Bury, chief executive at Surgicare, revealed that US patients have been having gastric balloons fitted for many years.
He described the introduction of the air-filled balloon as "a big step forward" for weight loss procedures as it removes the side-effects experienced with the traditional gastric balloon.
"The addition of the procedure to SurgiCare's weight loss portfolio will open the door to weight loss surgery for those who would not be considered for other procedures," he claimed.
Other forms of obesity surgery include gastric band surgery, in which the stomach is made smaller using an adjustable band, and gastric bypass surgery, where a small stomach pouch is created to restrict food intake and part of the small intestine is bypassed to reduce calorie absorption.
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