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Intragastric Balloon System

Dr. Santiago Horgan discusses the benefits of the nonsurgical gastric balloon weight-loss procedure.

Gastric balloon placement is a temporary, nonsurgical procedure that has been shown to reduce 10 percent of total body weight. It involves placing a lightweight, gastric balloon in the stomach for up to six months to help produce a sense of fullness and reduce hunger.

At UC San Diego Health's Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, our surgeons use a device called the Orbera┬« Balloon.

Make an Appointment

Take the next step in your weight loss journey. Call us today at 858-657-8860.

Are You a Candidate for Gastric Balloon?

You may be a good candidate for the gastric balloon if you:

The device may not be recommended for people who have:

  • Any inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract
  • A hiatal hernia
  • A gastric mass
  • Liver failure
  • A bleeding disorder or severe clotting
  • Had bariatric or gastrointestinal surgery in the past
  • An esophageal motility disorder
  • A psychiatric illness

How Gastric Balloon Procedure Works

Watch to see how the ORBERA weight-los balloon works.

While the patient is under mild sedation, a thin, deflated balloon is placed in the stomach through the mouth. Once in place, the balloon is filled with a saline solution. The solution also contains a blue dye so that it can be easily detected in the urine if the balloon breaks. The balloon can be filled with varying amounts of solution to match your body structure.

The balloon remains in your stomach for up to six months before being removed by your physician.

Advantages of Gastric Balloon Surgery

  • No incisions are required.
  • It's a temporary procedure, which means balloon is only in the stomach for six months or less.
  • The outpatient procedure is done under mild sedation; you return home the same day.
  • It helps you exercise portion control by reducing hunger.


  • You may experience nausea and vomiting in the first few days after placement.
  • You may have abdominal discomfort.

Insurance Coverage for Gastric Balloon Procedure

  • This surgery is not covered by insurance at this time.

Managing Your Weight After Balloon Removal

Sustainable, healthy habits are required for long-term weight loss following the removal of the balloon. After balloon removal, it is recommended that you:

  • Meet with an expert who specializes in weight management.
  • Limit daily calorie intake to 1,200 to 1,400 calories.
  • Exercise at least five days per week.

The weight management program at UC San Diego Health can help you meet and maintain your weight loss goals. Our programs are grounded in healthy lifestyle habits and behavioral health modification strategies that can help you retrain your appetite and keep the weight off. Learn how our nonsurgical weight-loss program can be effective for you.

BMI Calculator

Ideal body weight for your height should result in a BMI between 19 and 24.9. If your BMI is above 30, you may be a good candidate for surgery. Understand your BMI.

Appointments & Referrals

BMI Clinic Location

La Jolla

Weight Loss Experts

A Center of Excellence

We are a fully Accredited Bariatric Center in the American College of Surgeons Bariatric Surgery Center Network (ACS BSCN).

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