Intragastric Balloon

Non-Surgical Method

The conventional intragastric balloon involves putting a silicone balloon in your stomach. It is round and the surface is smooth. It is inflated with 500 to 700ml of normal saline (0.9% strength of sodium chloride (salt) solution in water).

It is placed through a gastroscope, which the physician uses to look for any stomach ulcer or tumour.

How does the intragastric balloon make you lose weight?

It sits in your stomach to reduce what you can eat. It also increases the time taken for the stomach to empty its content.

With content in your stomach, you will feel less hungry and it indirectly changes the level of your body hormones that control your appetite.

Intragastric Balloon
The intragastric balloon.

Why intragastric balloon?

The intragastric balloon placed inside your stomach helps you to lose weight. This can lower your risk of weight-related health issues such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Sleep apnea (snoring)
  • High blood sugar (diabetes)

The procedure

It takes about 30 minutes to have the balloon inserted and requires mild sedation.

This is not a surgical procedure, no cutting or stapling of stomach involve. This balloon is temporary, and it has to be removed 6 months after placement.

If you opt to use the Spatz3 balloon, it can stay as long as 1 year before it is removed. As a result, weight loss is more effective.

Intragastric Balloon n Stomach
The intragastric balloon inside the stomach.

The average weight loss ranges from 15 to 25 kg in the literature. It is commonly done in Europe and South America.

The numbers of cases in Asia are increasing, secondary to its safety and non-surgical nature.

The risks involved

Abdominal discomfort and nausea affect 33% of the patients who undergoes the intragastric balloon procedure. On a positive note, these symptoms usually last a few days and can be treated with oral medication.

Serious complications such as gastric ulcers, rupture of the stomach (in patients with previous stomach surgery) or bowel obstructions may happen but are rare.

After the procedure

The type of food you can eat changes during the first month:

  • You can take in small amount liquid 6 hours after the procedure
  • A liquid diet until the second week
  • A soft diet in the third week
  • Back to a normal diet once by the fourth week

You will also be meeting up with a nutritionist to plan your meals and Dr Cha regularly until the intragastric balloon is removed after 6 months to 1 year.


Dr Cha Kar Huei

MD (Canada) FACS (USA)
Consultant Bariatric and General Surgeon

Dr Cha is a surgeon at the Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC). He graduated from Dalhousie University, Canada in 1998. He entered surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and completed his training at the University of Wisconsin in 2004.

He trained at the New York University Medical Centre on minimally invasive bariatric surgery and attained a Fellow of the American College of Surgeon in 2009.

Dr Cha is experienced in minimally invasive surgery with an interest in bariatric surgery. He is also a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

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Place of Practice

Subang Jaya Medical Centre
No. 1, Jalan SS12/1A, SS 12,
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor.

Parkcity Medical Centre
No. 2, Jalan Intisari Perdana,
52200 Desa Parkcity, Kuala Lumpur.