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Old 02-12-2017, 04:07 AM   #1
Avicenna
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Gastric balloon?

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this.

I am feeling very frustrated because I recently had another spurt of weight gain and am now above my original weight when I joined LCF! I've gone back to induction/VLC but I am still gaining weight. I'm on thyroid medicine and my doctor said my thyroid hormone levels are fine. I tried also getting a really good quality liquid probiotic to see if that helps.

Ideally, I'd like to find out what is causing this (for me, weight comes in spurts, not slow and steady gain)...but, meanwhile, I am feeling desperate and looked into options for weight loss surgery. It seems like a gastric balloon is fairly non-invasive.

However, I am hesitant to pursue this - apart from the cost, I don't REALLY want a piece of plastic in me. Also, I know someone who died due to complications from weight loss surgery, and I have a strong memory of her funeral where her kids and grandkids were all sitting around sobbing, with the unspoken question "Was that REALLY necessary?"

I am thinking of giving it another week or so to see if my weight drops a little due to VLC before pursuing this.

Anyone tried this - any thoughts?
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:24 PM   #2
Maryposa
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Hi there, sorry you haven't gotten any responses. I don't know anyone who has had this procedure. I have VSG. From what I understood the balloon is temporary.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryposa View Post
Hi there, sorry you haven't gotten any responses. I don't know anyone who has had this procedure. I have VSG. From what I understood the balloon is temporary.
Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts!

It's something I'm thinking about even if I am able to stabilize my weight and lose some, because by now I have quite a bit to lose.

Take care
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Old 02-25-2017, 11:26 AM   #4
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My first question is, are you on any medications that could be contributing to your weight gain? I ask, because one of my diabetes meds is known to cause weight gain and I consider that a contributing factor to my struggle to lose.

I have thought about WLS at times when the going got tough, but realize, it is a tool. It still requires work on your part. Cravings can continue, and if you're not careful, you can manipulate your eating to the point of still gaining after surgery. And sometimes you are required to lose some weight before the surgery to show that you are serious and able to work the program they are giving you.

Maybe you need to get a full physical to see if there's something other than thyroid going on.

I wish you only good things, and hope you think this through carefully.
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Old 03-09-2017, 06:28 AM   #5
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Do they still do the balloon? It was not even an option at my surgeon's office. I had the sleeve, leaving all of my organs where God intended...lol. I don't regret at all my decision, it has been a life saver for me. Just before I had my surgery I gained, gained, gained, it did not matter what I did, I was exercising like a crazy person, even did an all liquid diet, my surgeon explained I was insulin resistant which could be controlled through weight loss and exercise, but for some reason it was not happening for me, this is why I finally decided to actually have the surgery. Good luck to you.
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davisdanes View Post
Do they still do the balloon? It was not even an option at my surgeon's office. I had the sleeve, leaving all of my organs where God intended...lol. I don't regret at all my decision, it has been a life saver for me. Just before I had my surgery I gained, gained, gained, it did not matter what I did, I was exercising like a crazy person, even did an all liquid diet, my surgeon explained I was insulin resistant which could be controlled through weight loss and exercise, but for some reason it was not happening for me, this is why I finally decided to actually have the surgery. Good luck to you.
I am glad it worked out for you.

They do it where I live...they have a less invasive one now which is, apparently, non-surgical (although I'm sure that surgery happens if it goes wrong)... because I am on my own, I am hesitant to get any kind of voluntary surgery which would require being taken care of afterwards.

I am still thinking about it - I am just at my wit's end here!
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:00 AM   #7
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That was happening to me too. I also have a thyroid disorder, but all my levels said it was not that (I have a great doctor that does the right tests). I would be going along fine, then gain 6-8 lbs over a few weeks for no reason I could figure Then it would stop, but the weight didn't come back off. I could force off a couple of pounds off, maybe, but nothing more. I would stay steady for a while, then it would happen again.

I gained about 20 lbs overall and my doctor suggested Metformin. That worked great for a while, I felt like my body was using food for energy, instread of just to make fat. It is hard to describe, but I just felt different. Then it started upsetting my stomach something awful, so I stopped it. I did manage to lose a few pounds while I was on it.

Then it happened again. I gained back what I lost on Metformin, plus another 10 lbs. Again, no reason I could figure out. Now I am using Victoza. It isn't a miracle drug, but I have stopped gaining and can *very slowly* lose again.

I am not one to jump to medication, but I know something is not working the way it should inside me.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:10 AM   #8
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I am also glad you found something that worked for you. I agree about not jumping to medication but, at the end of the day, that's what it's there for!

I feel like I have a similar metabolic issue (I tend to be very low energy), but the problem is getting a doctor who will really look into it or prescribe these things - where I live, they were annoyed when I asked for a diabetes test and only grudgingly allowed it, and informed me I wasn't diabetic, and that was that.

Anyway I decided to make an appointment for a consultation, some of the side effects of the gastric balloon that I've read about have given me pause for thought (some people are saying that they started producing a really bad smell, or were bloated enough to look pregnant - well I already look like that lol), so I might also ask about the other options as well.
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:07 AM   #9
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Thought I'd post an update, in case it is helpful to anyone.

In case you are thinking of getting a gastric balloon... don't!

All right, I semi-jest - it may be suitable for you. 6 months have come and gone since my last post, and I had a gastric balloon installed and removed (with 6 months being the recommended time of installation by the manufacturer). I lost no weight, and am many thousand dollars in the hole.

There were a few things I was not prepared for. One was the hit that it had on my overall health and well-being. This may have been due to the balloon itself, or the medication you have to take on a daily basis to keep your body from rejecting it. Another major issue was the medication itself, which had side effects, some of which were serious, and which I am hoping will not lead to any lasting problems. Interestingly, a known side effect of the medication is "weight gain", so I'm not sure how that works out.

I also had a bad experience with the clinic that did the procedure, as, in my view, they misrepresented the procedure and their services. I naively trusted that since we were talking about medical care - as opposed to, say, buying a car - that what they said was what they would do, or that they would somehow be concerned about my well-being (especially with the large sum of money I was forking over), but that proved not to be the case.

I also have come to suspect that these procedures - like diets - probably work best for people who are just getting on the diet wagon, or who picked up a few extra pounds in adulthood, as opposed to people who have had a lifelong struggle with weight. After the removal, as I was leaving the hospital, the nurse commented that she'd been losing weight since she'd started "eating ONLY homemade sweets and not store-bought ones" (insert jaw drop) and "walking more". That may well work for her, an adult who put on a little extra weight. It doesn't work for me.

That being said, this may be the case just for the balloon, or just for me, and not for other procedures/people.

So, lessons learned:
* If you're going to do the procedure, check the side effects of both the procedure and any meidcation you will be taking
* Consider the statistics on weight loss / effectiveness of the procedure (even better if it is available in a bracket similar to yourself)
* When purchasing medical care, make sure everything that is agreed to is signed and documented. Don't assume that because something is said beforehand, it will actually happen. If there are any red flags, pay attention!
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:58 AM   #10
Maryposa
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Thanks for sharing your experience. That must feel really disappointing. Did you at least get full with small portions? That's the main selling point, right?
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:03 PM   #11
Avicenna
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Honestly...no. In the first couple weeks after it was installed, I couldn't eat much because there was a lot of pain/discomfort. After a couple months... I would say that I ate somewhat less than before, but not significantly. One thing I didn't do was OVEReat - that would have been physically very uncomfortable.

I have heard it is different for some people - for instance some people eat kid size portions - but it didn't have that effect with me.

Also, one of the ironies of it is that I wasn't able to tolerate raw vegetables or fruits (it does "interesting" things to the digestive process), as is the case with some other people, so anyone who is prescribing a "healthy eating salad" set of meals along with a gastric balloon probably doesn't know what they're talking about.

The other thing I realized (that I've heard people say elsewhere) is that being physically able to eat less doesn't mean you're not hungry. I did feel still hungry in the beginning, I just couldn't eat. I did try fasting, and it didn't seem to help with that.

Honestly, I'm just grateful it's over and grateful to have my regular life back!
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