Gastric ballooning is a non-surgical bariatric procedure that reduces the capacity of the stomach, thereby helping patients eat less and lose weight. During gastric balloon surgery, the doctor inserts an inflatable balloon into the stomach via the mouth, and then inflates the balloon with a non-toxic liquid, such as salt water, or air. The balloon can be removed or replaced in about six months, and patients will notice a lasting decrease in appetite. This surgery is not currently approved in the US, and in the UK it may cost £15,000. Overseas, bariatric surgeons can perform this operation for much less.
In Mexico, gastric balloon surgery is performed by highly trained doctors who have studied in some of the best medical schools in Europe. This procedure is usually done under general anesthesia or heavy sedation, and patients can leave the hospital or clinic the same day. The gastric balloon is made of inert material that resists corrosion from stomach acids, so there is a low failure rate. Because the procedure is non-surgical and reversible, patients can easily have the device removed if they later change their minds. The total cost of gastric ballooning is £4,700 or $7,500 in Mexico.
In the Czech Republic, the procedure costs about £2,000 or $3,000, and in Belgium gastric balloons cost £3,600 or $5,500. Bariatric surgeons in Europe have performed this procedure since it was first developed, so patients can easily find an experienced, skillful doctor.
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