Intragastric Balloon Journey
- 11 months ago
Hi Everyone! I thought I would start a new forum on my gastric balloon journey since not too many people have posted about it. I thought my experience may help others in case you are thinking about this. SO to start - like many others, as soon as I hit my 40s, the weight started to increase. My weight had always been consistent since I hit puberty give or take a few pounds. All of sudden I started putting on weight in places I never did before and before I knew it each year I was adding about 10 pounds until I was 40 pounds overweight! If I want to be really honest with myself I was closer to 50 pounds overweight but I can live with a few curves. I started looking at options like Lipo and tummy tucks. I thought of going to the Dominican Republic since many people I knew would come back with a complete new body and doctors there would work on more areas at the same time than the US. But I really didnt want to be alone during the recovery process so I started looking at doctors in the US. I finally went in for a free consultation. I was pretty psyched because I finally decided to really do this. I finally had the money which was always an obstacle in the past. I told the doctor about the areas I cared about the most which was my tummy, flanks, and back. I was on my way..... until the doctor gave me the news. "Um, you probably should lose some weight and exercise first." What!? The whole point of me getting lipo was because diet and exercising wasnt working! And I know I have seen some DOminican Girls alot bigger than me come back brand new! ANyway, Doctor went on to say she could take my money if I want but my results will not be optimal until I lose weight. So I left the office, disheartened and disappointed. My dream of my Mommy Makeover would not come true after all. I had to do this the old fashion way. My BMI was too low for weight loss surgery but too high for Lipo. Not too long after that. I came across the NY Times article about the recent FDA approval of the dual balloon insertion in the US. Luckily for me, a doctor performing this procedure was close by and I went in for a consultation. Turns out I was a perfect candidate. With a BMI of 32 and about 40 pounds to lose, the dual balloon could be the jumpstart I needed for my weightloss journey. I schedule the procedure and was on my way. The gastric balloon is not as invasive as surgery or as risky. You are sedated while they insert the balloon and the whole procedure takes about 20 minutes max. Afterwards the nausea and the abdominal discomfort is pretty bad for about two weeks. Similar to having gastric bypass surgery or a lap band, you have to eat/drink liquids and soft foods for the first few weeks. By the end of your first month you will be able to eat normal foods but in much smaller portions because you will feel full. I have read many reviews about the balloon insertion mostly from reviewers outside of the US since it had not been available in this country. Most of the reviews were not positive but the reason I went ahead and did it was because my procedure had the dual balloon which is a little bigger in size which makes you feel fuller and a little more comfortable (according to reviews). I am happy to say that after 2 months I have lost 17 pounds! I still have a long way to go and the weight has been slow but steady. Maybe after all this I will still want my Mommy Makeover but right now I am so happy that I am losing some weight on my own. The gastric balloon really is not a miracle cure for weight loss. Its really just a jumpstart because you really have to put in the hard work to achieve good results. But similar to cosmetic surgery, its not cheap, so I am motivated to continue to work hard and not waste my investment. It helps me feel full and get back to eating a healthy lifestyle and eating smaller portions. But it nothing like getting weight loss surgery. So anyone who thinks they will immediately lose tons of weight like some people do after gastric bypass will be disappointed. So far so good. Im hoping to fit in to smaller clothes soon. If anyone is interested in asking me questions please. do. In the meantime, I will post my updates. In 4 more months, the balloon has to be removed (6 months max). My goal is to have lost the 40 pounds by then. A couple of pros and cons so far:Pros - losing about 2 pounds per week, treatment comes with frequent nutritionist follow ups, fitbit tracker device and fitbit scale. Although nausea is a very common side effect for the first week for many, I didnt have any at all!COns - 1st - It aint cheap - $7800, But then again Im pretty sure I have spent that much on nutrisystem meals and weight watcher monthly fees with less results over the years; 2nd - The discomfort in my tummy turns out to be the beginnings of ulcers which turns out to be a common side effect. the balloon tends to rub against the stomach...yea - thats not too good. But Im taking medication and supposedly its superficial and will go away when the balloon is removed. Other than that, I cant say there are too many cons. I feel discomfort and a tummy ache when I eat too much food or foods high in fat which is not such a bad thing. Its a reminder that I need to keep the portions normal and stay away from fried and greasy foods.