How gastric balloons are ballooning in size

August 27, 2016


The thought of inserting one balloon into your stomach wouldn’t have just been frowned upon several years ago, it would have been seen as repulsive. However, following such success with that approach, scientists have now developed a dual balloon option. In other words, effectively two balloons are inserted into your stomach as part of the gastric balloon procedure.

Generally, surgeons are relying on the Reshape gastric balloon to achieve this. It’s regarded as the market leader and even though it might look a little different to the single balloon option, in practice it works pretty much identically.

So, why are surgeons now turning to a dual-balloon system, as opposed to relying on just the single one? Let’s investigate some of the reasons this type of gastric balloon surgery is ballooning in popularity (pardon the awful pun).

Dual-balloons are significantly bigger

This first point is probably going to be completely expected; dual-balloons are significantly bigger than their single counterparts.

Generally, the single balloon will have a capacity of 400-700cc of saline. If this is then compared to the dual-balloon, that capacity level immediately increases to 900cc without having any detrimental effect on the stomach.

The upshot is simple; there is much more weight loss potential within these balloons. As they are occupying a bigger space, it stands to reason that there is no longer as much space for food to be consumed.

It’s not just size – the design is important here as well

While dual-balloons might set tongues wagging because of their larger size, a point should also be made on the shape.

It’s understood that as the shape effectively resembles two balloons merged together, this is something which can much more easily conform to the stomach’s walls. Unsurprisingly, the stomach isn’t a round, natural shape – and by having the flexibility of two balloons the tolerability levels immediately increase.

There’s a safety factor

As both the single and dual versions of these balloons have received FDA approval, little needs to be commented on regarding safety anyway.

However, experts believe that the design of the dual version does offer some slender safety benefits, as it can reduce the risks of any obstructions occurring in the stomach.

Again, considering the FDA have approved both versions it’s not going to be a “deal breaker” by any stretch of the imagination, but some might consider this small factor nevertheless.

What does this mean for single balloons?

Bearing in mind all of the benefits we have discussed in relation to the Reshape gastric balloon, it might be interesting to briefly focus on what’s going to happen to the original, single balloons.

Well, they’re most certainly here to stay. The fact they are the most established option on the market says everything about their credibility, while some might suggest that they are perfect for those people who are only slightly obese due to the capacity issues we have spoken about. Regardless of the option, both will only stay in the stomach for six months so they are still temporary solutions.

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