The balloon is introduced into the stomach through the mouth without the need for surgery. The physician conducts an initial examination of the stomach using an endoscopic camera. If no abnormalities are observed, the physician proceeds with placement of the balloon through the mouth and down the esophagus into the stomach. The balloon is made of a soft and pliable silicone elastomer material and is inserted while in its smallest, deflated form. The swallowing process is made easier with the help of anesthetics applied topically to numb the throat area. Muscle relaxing medications are also used.
Once the balloon is inside the stomach, it is immediately filled with sterile saline through a small filling tube (catheter) attached to the balloon. Once filled, the doctor removes the catheter by gently pulling on the external end. The balloon has a self-sealing valve, and at this point the balloon is floating freely in the stomach. Placement times vary but it will usually take 20-30 minutes, after which you will be monitored by the physician for a short time and then may return home.