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Balloon Weight Loss Program

diagram of balloon weight loss program procedure

The gastric balloon procedure is a new weight loss system that aims to reduce the amount eaten at a meal and increase the feeling of being fuller longer after eating only small meals. Also known as the intragastric balloon, this type of weight loss treatment can help you lose weight without invasive surgery. 

During the procedure, a soft but durable balloon is inserted into your stomach through your mouth with the aid of an endoscope. The balloon is then filled with saline solution to occupy space in your stomach, leaving less room for large amounts of food and drink.

Patients will receive coaching from our multidisciplinary team of experts, including a gastroenterologist, nutritionist and medical weight loss physician. These experts will also continue to work with a patient after a balloon is removed at six months, for a total of 12 months.The gastric balloon is designed to be a weight loss tool that helps jump start the weight loss journey, with the balloon removal occurring after six months. It is sometimes used to help you lose enough weight prior to undergoing surgery, such as orthopaedic or bariatric surgery.

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What to Expect

  • Weight loss is rapid, with the majority typically occurring in the first four months of treatment.
  • Loss of about 15 percent of body weight is typical during the six months following intragastric balloon placement. In a randomized clinical trial with 255 adults with a BMI between 30 and 40, people who had the intragastric balloon procedure along with behavioral therapy lost 29 percent of their excess weight, compared to 14 percent in a group that received behavioral therapy alone.
  • The adjustments to your eating habits and your continued efforts to stay active will greatly influence your results.

Balloon Weight Loss Program | Q&A

Vivek Kumbhari, director of bariatric endoscopy for Johns Hopkins, answers questions about the gastric balloon for weight loss procedure, including how it works, how much weight you can lose and how long it takes.

View more videos about our other non-surgical weight loss services.

To qualify for the gastric balloon procedure, you ideally should:

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 40; a higher or lower BMI may also be suitable.
  • Be willing to participate in a medically supervised program.

To learn more or to schedule a consultation, call 410-583-LOSE (5673). You can also email JHMWeightLoss@jhmi.edu for more information.