What is the ORBERA® journey?

Like many expeditions the ORBERA® Managed Weight Loss Program has key stages which you will follow on your weight loss journey.

Preparation

The first consultation with your doctor will involve discussions about:

  • Your medical history
  • Your previous attempts at losing weight
  • Your personal goals
  • Your commitment to the program 
  • How comfortable you feel about the whole process which is an important part of the journey.

Once you have decided to go ahead with ORBERA® Managed Weight Loss Program, your doctor will schedule a date for your procedure.

Then once you begin the ORBERA® Managed Weight Loss Program you'll be meeting with your professional support team and learning the principles that will become the basis of your success. 

 

Placement

On the day of the procedure your team will prepare you for the endoscopic placement of the intragastric balloon. The placement takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes, after which patients are monitored by specialist nursing staff in the recovery bay.

You will be lightly sedated while the deflated intragastric balloon is inserted into your stomach through your mouth. Immediately following the placement of the intragastric balloon, it is filled with sterile saline.

Soon after this you will regain complete awareness. You will remain in the clinic for observation usually for a minimum of 2 hours or until the doctor discharges you into the custody of the person who will take you home.

This is generally an uncomplicated process. Nevertheless, over the first few days after the procedure you may experience gastric discomfort, nausea and vomiting as the digestive system adjusts to the presence of the intragastric balloon. 

As with any medical procedure, you need to remain alert to any possible complications. You doctor will advise you what to look out for. 

Some important things to organise beforehand are: 

  • Arrange to have someone with you when you return home from clinic
  • No solid foods or liquids 12 hours prior to the procedure
  • Stock your kitchen with the necessary post-procedure foods and liquids as instructed by your dietician
  • Plan for at least 48-72 hours of inactivity after the procedure.

Recovery and a liquid only diet

In the first few days following the procedure you may feel uncomfortable as the stomach gets used to the presence of the intragastric balloon. 

Predictable side effects most patients experience include nausea, vomiting and gastric discomfort over the first week. These symptoms can be managed by the medications provided by your doctor. These conditions are normal and should be expected.

Your doctor will provide strict instructions for your hydration regimen during this period. It is critical that you drink plenty of water during the first few days and avoid eating any solid foods.

You'll be restricted to a liquid diet for the first three days, which might include:

  • Juices
  • Milk
  • Thin soups or broths
  • Gelatins.

The following foods will need to be avoided:

  • Coffee 
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Fatty foods
  • Chocolate
  • Ice cream.

Moving onto solid foods

After a few days on a liquid diet you'll be ready to begin the transition to solid foods. You will start with semi-solids and gradually move to fully solid foods.

How quickly you make this transition will depend on your progress and how well your body is tolerating the liquids. It's important to make the transition slowly and not try to rush the adjustment process.

Some of the foods your dietitian may prescribe are:

  • Porridge
  • Thicker soups
  • Fruit purees. 

Exercise guidelines

Patients can start exercising under the advice from their doctor and support team, as soon as they feel well enough. This is usually about two weeks after their procedure. An exercise program should have been agreed on before the placement was carried out, ideally with ongoing motivation from an exercise therapist.

Important things to remember for exercising:  

  • Don’t engage in any physical activity for the first 24-48 hours
  • Drink cold liquids in small amounts, beginning with a teaspoon, and slowly increase the amount of the liquid as you are able
  • If liquid is taken in large amounts there is a higher risk of nausea and vomiting
  • Your clinic will be on call for the first 24 hours or provide you with an emergency contact to handle any reactions or distress you may encounter.

The Six Months with the Orbera® Managed Weight Loss Program

During the six month period that the ORBERA® intragastric balloon is in place you will meet regularly with your team to monitor your progress and receive education and training. These important educational aspects of the program involve the nutrition and lifestyle changes that you must follow in order to achieve long-term success. Your regular meetings with the support team will continue for six months after the intragastric balloon is removed.

Removal of the ORBERA® intragastric balloon

After the completion of your six months journey towards health and wellbeing it’s time to remove the ORBERA® intragastric balloon and strike out on your own (with a little bit of help from your support team of course). Removal of the intragastric balloon takes around 20-30 minutes, similar to when you had it inserted. During the removal procedure, you will be sedated and your doctor will remove the sterile salt water from the intragastric balloon before removing the deflated balloon from your stomach. It’s very important that you continue seeing your professional support team on a regular basis during this final six months of the program as this will set the foundations for the future.

You’ll need to prepare for removal of the ORBERA® intragastric balloon with:

  • No solid food 24 hours prior to the procedure
  • No liquids 12 hours prior to the procedure
  • Arrange to have assistance when you return home from the clinic.
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