Orbera Balloon FAQs

Find answers to common questions regarding the Orbera balloon. Explore procedure benefits, cost, and insurance coverage. Particularly, what to expect before and after the procedure.

What is the Orbera® Gastric Balloon?

Orbera® Gastric Balloon is a non-surgical option that helps individuals lose weight. Furthermore, it consists of a silicone balloon that inflates once placed in the patient’s stomach and helps with portion control. Because the patient is not able to eat as much in one meal. Moreover, the balloon is taking up space and the patient feels “full” for longer periods.

Who is a Candidate for the Orbera Gastric Balloon?

Indeed, individuals may be a candidate for the gastric balloon if:

  • 18+ years of age.
  • Have a BMI of at least 27.
  • Do not wish to have bariatric surgery.
  • Will commit to ongoing lifestyle changes necessary.
  • Willing to actively participate in the required 12-month program.
  • Individuals with higher body weight and in poor health so surgery is not an option.

Who is Not a Candidate for Orbera Gastric Balloon?

Certainly, individuals may not be a candidate for the gastric balloon if:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Need anti-inflammatory medication every day.
  • Undergone other stomach alterations or surgeries such as bariatric surgery or hernia repair.

Will Health Insurance Cover Orbera® Procedure?

At this time, insurance does not cover Orbera® gastric balloon procedures. Nonetheless, IBI Healthcare Institute offers patient financing options to qualifying individuals.

Why Doesn’t Insurance Cover the Orbera Gastric Balloon?

As a rule, it takes insurance companies a significant amount of time to approve and embrace new procedures. Although research has proven that weight loss reduces weight-related illnesses. For instance, for type 2 diabetes, and the costs associated with healthcare and medication. Equally important, insurance plans currently do not cover the Orbera® gastric balloon.

How Long has the Orbera® Balloon Procedure been Around?

Precisely, the FDA approved the Orbera® balloon procedure in August 2015.

How long does the Orbera® Balloon Procedure take?

In reality, it only takes about 20 minutes to place, inflate the balloon, or deflate and remove the balloon.

How is the Orbera® Balloon Different from Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery makes permanent changes to the stomach and often the digestive system. Though, doctors use the Orbera® balloon only temporarily for six months. Eventually, helps patients learn portion control and make lifestyle changes that hopefully become long-term habits.

Evidently, orbera® does not require any alterations to the digestive system. Besides this, the procedure takes place under sedation and not general anesthesia like bariatric surgery would require. Likewise, orbera® is a quick, same-day procedure. Also, there is no hospital stay required. And recovery is much quicker than bariatric surgery.

Orbera Balloon Faqs | What to Expect Before and After Procedure

How Often Do Patients Need to have Follow-up Visits After the Orbera® Procedure?

The specific program and follow-up schedule will vary by patient. Some patients may have a few different professionals. They are working with a nutritionist, physical fitness coach, and emotional support.

Usually, doctors meet with patients in person approximately one to two weeks after placing the balloon. You can contact your doctor throughout the entire process. Additionally, arrange telehealth consultation if necessary. Patients will meet with their nutritionist/dietician each month for the entire program. These “meetings” can be in person or virtual.

What Does the Orbera® Gastric Balloon Feel Like?

Most patients say having a gastric balloon in their stomach. It feels like they have just eaten a big meal and they are full. Some patients have reported that they were able to tell where the balloon was for the first few weeks. But after that, the sensation went away.

Will Anyone Know I Have a Gastric Balloon?

The balloon is not large enough to be visible from the outside. No one will be able to tell that you have a balloon in your stomach.

What are the Side Effects of the Orbera® Balloon?

After the Orbera® balloon placement. Some patients may experience nausea, vomiting, or cramping for 2-3 days. The discomfort will dissipate after the balloon placement with the stomach.

How Much Weight Can I Lose with the Orbera® Balloon?

The average weight loss for a gastric balloon is between 30 and 50 pounds. However, there have been patients who have lost as much as 126 pounds. The amount of weight an individual can lose depends on how much they have to lose.

And how motivated they are to adhere to the lifestyle changes needed to facilitate the weight loss. Weight loss is usually fast in the first few months after the insertion of the balloon. Maintaining weight loss will take behavior modification and long-term commitment.

What Happens After the Gastric Balloon Removal?

The Orbera® balloon removed after 6 months. But the patient’s commitment continues forever. For the next six months, the patient remains in the support program. Eventually, continue to meet with their dietician every month and any other professionals who are part of their customized program.

Most patients continue to lose weight for up to 3 months after the balloon’s removal. Then it is a matter of continuing to adhere to the behavioral changes. They made to maintain their weight loss and have long-term success. Most patients continue to lose weight for up to 3 months after the balloon’s removal.

What if Don't Lose the Weight Planned or if the Weight Loss Stalls with Orbera®?

We will closely monitor your progress throughout your entire Orbera® treatment (12 months). To make sure that your weight loss is progressing as it should. If your weight loss is slower than usual or stalls out.

Nevertheless, the IBI Healthcare team will re-evaluate. Even so, it may make changes to your program to help get things back on track. Sometimes, the doctor recommends weight loss medications. You can use it in conjunction with the balloon to help enhance the weight loss results.

Can a Patient Use the Orbera® Balloon More Than Once?

Yes, it is possible to have another round of the Orbera® balloon treatment. But most doctors will have the patient wait about 2 months before placing the new balloon. During those two months, they would work closely with the patient. To address any issues that may be hindering weight loss and proceed from there.

What are the Risks of the Orbera® Gastric Balloon?

Gastric balloons help individuals with heavier body weight lose weight for over two decades. But have evolved in many ways during that time. Doctors recommend the Orbera® balloons since the FDA approved them in 2015. They performed over 300,000 procedures worldwide. The risk of serious complications is about 1 in 10,000. It includes balloon deflation, bowel obstruction, stomach ulceration, perforation of the intestines, and death.

How Much of a Chance is there that the Orbera® Balloon will Deflate?

The chance of an Orbera gastric balloon deflating in the stomach is very small (0.3%) and is a rare occurrence. This rare event associated with balloons that remain in the stomach for over 6 months.

Will I have Exercise Restrictions while I have a Gastric Balloon in my Stomach?

There are no restrictions for exercising when using an Orbera® gastric balloon. The amount of exercise a patient gets is directly related to how much weight they will lose. Patients should exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day and at least 5 days a week. Aerobics, kickboxing, CrossFit, walking, running, weight training, swimming, etc. The more exercise patients get, the more weight they will lose.

What about Abdominal Exercises While Using Orbera®?

Training that includes abdominal exercises is perfectly fine. The stomach safely protects the balloon. The abdominal muscles and doing abdominal training will not harm the balloon.

Is it Safe to Travel by Airplane with a Gastric Balloon?

The Orbera gastric balloon is perfectly safe for flying as altitude does not affect it.

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