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U.S. obesity rates are on the rise, and with that comes increased surgeries that can cause major mental and physical health issues in trade for the immediate loss of fat. The effects of the downside of immediate gratification can last for years to come for those who undergo the surgery.

What’s more, society is increasing pressure on men and women to be thin, beautiful, successful. Even more so for women with more pressure in expecting them to bear children while maintaining careers. As people find themselves with less time but increased stress to become thin, they are beginning to turn to dangerous surgeries.

As people find themselves with less time but increased stress to become thin, they are beginning to turn to dangerous surgeries.

Bariatric surgeries and gastric balloon procedures are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. While some insurance companies will cover the procedure for extremely obese patients, many doctors expect to see it among younger and less heavy people as well.

We’ve done the heavy weight lifting for you and have compiled a list of why gastric surgery should be the last thing you consider when looking to lose weight. But first, here’s how it works:

The Procedure

Gastric balloons are inserted into a patient’s stomach by their mouth. This can be done in an outpatient procedure and the process is even considered to be minimally invasive. What’s more, the procedure can be done in well under thirty minutes.

During this time, the patient is certainly under sedation which comes with its own set of complications. The patient undergoes the procedure hoping that they leave swiftly with a new appetite and new innards prone to dropping weight.

The devices are created and designed so they can stay in a patient for up to six months.

When the doctor puts the balloon in place, they then fill it with a sterile solution. This takes up a vast amount of room in any given human stomach. A patient will certainly experience nausea and stomach discomfort immediately after the procedure, and most likely for a few weeks following.

Doctors promise that the symptoms will subside. With the gastric balloon in place, patients are supposed to feel much less hungry. There has been reported weight loss from 5% to 10% of the patient’s total weight.

It’s Growing in Popularity

More than 220,000 people worldwide have had the weight-loss oriented balloon put in their bodies. The international sales of these balloons have skyrocketed to almost $120 million dollars. They are especially popular in Europe, Mexico, and Brazil.

However, Mexico and Brazil have much more relaxed laws when it comes to surgical procedures. In the U.S., there have only been 5,000 device implantations reported. The follow-up of the post-surgery health of the patients has not been taken seriously, until recently.

1. The FDA Said So

The FDA recently sent a letter to all healthcare providers showing data and reports of various deaths from liquid-filled intragastric balloon systems used to treat obesity. While some of the cases showed unclear causes of death, they all happened within one month of the gastric balloon placement.

In three of these cases, the patient died in one to three days post gastric balloon surgery. The FDA has admittedly stated that they are unsure of the root cause of the problem, but that they are certain it is directly correlated to the balloon procedure.

They haven’t been able to determine the incidence rate of patient death, but deaths are occurring soon after the balloon is placed inside in the innards of the patients. It could be creating problems with gastric or esophageal perforation, intestinal obstruction, or other causes.

There were additional deaths reported in a similar time period since 2016. The FDA has stated that one had to do with gastric perforation via gastric balloon surgery, and another one was credited to esophageal perforation after the reshape device was used on the patient.

Many doctors are speculating that it has to do with the technique and placement of the balloon. It’s a new procedure and the skill required to perform it effectively have yet to be finessed. However, patients are dying in the trials.

The FDA continues to study, work with doctors and companies to further understand the issues. As they monitor the complications from the procedure, they have yet to approve the device as a safe option. The ongoing approval status of the device will hopefully be determined before many more people turn to this option for weight loss.

However, there are weight loss options with proven results that won’t destroy your stomach or your mind.

2. Mental Health Deterioration after Gastric Balloon Operation

Many patients experience “dumping” after these kinds of weight loss procedures. People develop serious illnesses in conjunction with eating after the surgeries are performed. People struggle as they try to relate to the massive changes that have just occurred in their body.

Dumping is a condition that can occur after gastric balloon implantation. It occurs when food, principally sugar moves from your stomach into your bowels at a rapid rate. This can cause serious stomach cramps and severe pain.

There becomes an ongoing challenge as patients battle feelings of losing and regaining control over their weight. Their efforts to build new eating habits while they continue working hard to adjust to their new body can create an intense dilemma and can lead to poor eating habits and more dumping.

Procedures that permanently alter the inner body and anatomy of a stomach does not mean that it will fix a person’s eating habits, which is usually the core of their weight issues. The habits can’t be reduced or changed just because part of their organs have.

People become frustrated that they can’t continue eating what they did before with the surgery. Many patients expect the surgery to be a fix-all for their health issues. The truth is, while the surgery may help them immediately lose weight, that’s just the beginning of a lifelong battle with mental illness with food.

Try, Try Again

If you are thinking about weight loss surgery because you are frustrated at the rate you are losing weight and don’t think it’s in your realm of possibility, think again. There are many fantastic programs and doctors who can set you on a healthy path to losing the weight without surgery.

With a regular workout regimen and fantastic nutritional help, you can start your path to a healthy, beautiful life again. It takes work and discipline, but you’ll be glad you lost the weight without surgery and a balloon in your intestines.

When you’re ready for the best weight loss program available, contact us today!