Gastric Band Medical Concerns

Urgent symptoms

Blue/green coloured urine or stools

Your balloon is normally filled with saline containing a blue dye. In the rare event that your balloon leaks you will know immediately as your urine and stools will change colour. If this does occur then please call us immediately or go to your nearest A&E Department. Leaking and deflating of the balloon will cause it to pass through the intestines like normal food and on its way it can cause obstruction.


Normal symptoms

There are some normal symptoms that you may experience following the procedure.

 

Stomach discomfort, nausea and vomiting

You may feel some stomach discomfort after having your balloon inserted. Nausea and vomiting are very common in the first seven to ten days after gastric balloon insertion and this is simply because your stomach isn’t used to having it there. You’ll be discharged with medications to help settle any nausea and vomiting. If your stomach discomfort persists or if you’re struggling to hold fluids down after the first seven days then please contact our bariatric team.

 

Reduced stool volumes or frequency of bowel movements

This is common and usually relates to eating smaller amounts of food. Normal bowel movements can be anywhere between three times per day to three times per week.

If you’re constipated, make sure that you’re drinking enough between your meals and that you’re including fibre foods in your meals, such as vegetables, fruit, oats, brown rice, wholemeal cereals, bread or pasta.

 

Heartburn and acid reflux

Heartburn and acid reflux is common in gastric balloon patients. Some foods can make it worse including coffee, alcohol, spicy and fatty foods.

Milk and dairy products may help with acid reflux. Make sure you choose low-fat varieties of all dairy products. Don’t lie down after meals. Medication can be prescribed.

 

Odour associated with belching/burping

Bad-smelling belching or burping can sometimes be a problem as your food gets stuck in and around the mucous that coats your gastric balloon. Chew your food well and try to move around as this stops food from getting stuck around the balloon. Take a sip of water 30 minutes after your meal to rinse off the balloon.

 

Feeling bloated

The balloon can make you feel bloated and it can stay for the full six months. This is common and is caused by the balloon itself, which is meant to help people feel full. Try to remember that the balloon is temporary and so the bloating is too and it’ll disappear when the balloon is removed. Medications can help relieve these symptoms.

 

Pain

You may experience some pain which can be caused if your oesophagus or stomach is punctured whilst inserting the gastric balloon, although this is very rare. You may also feel pain from the inflation of the balloon, however most people refer to this as more of a discomfort. 

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