Intragastric Balloon


Intragastric Balloon is one of several state-of-the-art bariatric procedures offered by Dr. Rami Lutfi in Chicago. On this page, you’ll learn about this particular non-surgical technique, as well as what you can expect from Dr. Lutfi and his staff.

Dr. Lutfi has many years of experience working with patients who wish to lose weight and get rid of diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Dr. Lutfi was the first surgeon in the Midwest to place a gastric balloon and is one of the first five physicians trained in North America on the ORBERA® Intragastric Balloon.

We focus on wellness and treat the whole patient – body and soul – with a dietitian, psychologist, experienced nurses, and an insurance specialist on our full-time staff.

Our relationship with you is paramount. You will meet Dr. Lutfi himself right away in your first visit, and he will be available to you from the time leading up to your surgery throughout your recovery. It’s important to him to treat each patient as an individual.

While we practice “Evidence-Based Medicine” that follows the latest scientific evidence, we believe in our Institute that the choice of surgery and the plan of care should be customized for each individual based on their history, expectations and goals.

What is Intragastric Balloon?

The intragastric balloon is a non-surgical weight loss procedure that requires no incisions. Instead, Dr. Lutfi inserts the balloon into the stomach endoscopically under twilight sedation. The balloon is deflated when inserted and then filled with saline. The balloon helps you to feel fuller faster, essentially decreasing the volume of your stomach without removal of any portion of the stomach. Because this method is non-surgical, there are no incisions or scars.

The intragastric balloon is left in the stomach for six months, during which we work with you to create changes to your lifestyle that will allow you to continue to lose weight or maintain your weight loss even after the balloon has been removed. After the six months, the balloon is removed using the same endoscopic technique.

How Much Weight Can I Lose After Intragastric Balloon?

Weight loss from this technique varies. Patients lose anywhere form 2-60 pounds and some have seen improvement in many of the health issues associated with obesity such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoarthritis.

The majority of the weight loss usually occurs during the six months in which the balloon remains in the stomach, but additional, slower weight loss is possible after the balloon has been removed.

Of course, results always vary depending on your commitment to dietary and behavioral changes, as well as your follow-up with our nurses and dietitians who are available every day in our Institute.

How Much Weight Can I Lose After Intragastric Balloon?

Weight loss from this technique varies. Patients lose anywhere form 2-60 pounds and some have seen improvement in many of the health issues associated with obesity such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoarthritis.

The majority of the weight loss usually occurs during the six months in which the balloon remains in the stomach, but additional, slower weight loss is possible after the balloon has been removed.

Of course, results always vary depending on your commitment to dietary and behavioral changes, as well as your follow-up with our nurses and dietitians who are available every day in our Institute.

Who is a Good Candidate for an Intragastric Balloon?

Dr. Lutfi will discuss surgical and non-surgical options with you and will recommend the best procedure for you based on your health, medical history, and of course, your preferences.

The non-surgical intragastric balloon is best for patients with a BMI of 30-40. Those with a higher BMI, severe health conditions, or difficulty with implementing lifestyle changes may be better suited for surgery.

Again, your decision will follow a thorough conversation with Dr Lutfi and his team, as well as testing that often includes endoscopy and others. But you are always the center of the decision-making process!

For more information, please visit our Am I a Candidate? page.

What is Recovery Like from Intragastric Balloon?

Since this method is non-surgical, recovery time is fast. You can go home the same day and can begin exercising immediately.

You might feel some minor soreness in the throat where the tube was inserted and in the stomach area as you grow accustomed to the balloon. But these sensations are generally minor and short-lived.

You will be given prescription medications to treat any nausea and abdominal cramping that may occur within the first 3-5 days after surgery.

Dr. Lutfi and our dietitian / certified personal trainer will recommend you take a complete multivitamin and set up a nutrition and exercise plan to get you started developing your new habits.

Dr. Lutfi and our staff will be available to you to answer any questions and guide you during your weight loss journey.

Visit our Recovery & Follow Up pages for more information.

What are Some of the Complications from Intragastric Balloon?

Nausea and vomiting are the most common side effects of this method. If you experience abdominal pain or indigestion, or if the nausea doesn’t resolve within 5 days, please contact us.

While complications are rare, they include deflation of the balloon in the stomach or movement of the balloon into the intestine, which might necessitate surgery to remove the balloon.

 

Contact us today to find out more about the Intragastric Balloon technique and our Obesity & Bariatric Program.

Internationally Renowned Bariatric Surgeon

Rami Lutfi, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.S.M.B.S.

  • Board Certified Surgeon Specializing in Bariatrics
  • Clinical Associate Professor at University of Illinois Chicago
  • Fellowship in Minimally Invasive & Bariatric Surgery: Vanderbilt University Hospital
  • Former President of the Illinois Association of Bariatric Surgery
  • He is one of only a few surgeons who educates new surgeons how to perform successful, minimally invasive bariatric surgery.
  • One of the first five physicians trained in North America on the ORBERA® Intragastric Balloon
  • Placed the 1st gastric sleeve in the state of Illinois
  • First to place a gastric balloon in the Midwest.
  • Performed over 2500 weight loss procedures.
  • President of the ASMBS Foundation.

Dr. Rami Lutfi has been featured on

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What Our Patients are Saying

Natalie, real patient

Natalie - Lost 90 lbs

“Dr. Rami Lutfi and his staff have been absolutely wonderful throughout the entire Bariatric process. They truly care about your well-being and success to become the best version of yourself. I have lost 90 lbs in the course of 6 months and I’m still working hard to achieve my goals. Sticking to diet and exercise truly pays off. Bariatric surgery is a real lifestyle change and is a great tool to better your future health.”

Colin, real patient

Collin - Lost 130 lbs

“I cannot thank Dr. Lutfi and his incredible staff enough for helping me get my life back on track  From my initial consultation, to several post op appointments they have always had my best interests in mind throughout this process. It is an important decision and a lifestyle change that takes a big commitment, but with support from the medical team at Dr. Lutfi’s office, friends,and family; I believe it can be the best decision someone can make if they struggle with weight loss issues like I had since a teenager.”

Teresa - Lost 150 lbs

“Dr. Lutfi and his team are amazing.  I have been supported both physically and emotionally every step of my journey.  I cannot recommend Dr. Lutfi and Presence Hospital enough.  Best decision I have ever made!”

Pauline - Lost 100 lbs

“I have struggled with obesity my entire life, and when I had my son, my weight afterwards soared. I was in so much pain from the birth and carrying the excess weight that I could not work out and dieting was not helping. Due to the fact I had over 100 lbs to lose, I looked into having barbaric surgery and found Dr. Lutfi. His care and the amazing staff made my decision easy. I am now almost 100 lbs down and a fit, active mom with energy to spare! Thank you Dr. Lutfi!”

Michael - Lost 116 lbs

“The bariatric journey is definitely not an event that begins and ends with a surgical procedure — it’s a process that takes a lot of effort.  But on that journey, it is helpful to have the support of a comprehensive bariatric team. Certainly, it starts with expert surgical hands, like Dr. Lutfi’s.  I chose his practice due to his experience and enthusiasm. The medical and nutritional information provided by Markie and Erin made creating and sticking to a plan easy and straightforward….

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