GASTRIC BALLOON IN PRAGUE, FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Got questions? On this page we answer all typical questions, please read on...
'How much weight can I expect to lose with the gastric balloon?'
Between 2 to 4 stones on average. Independent clinical trials carried out around the world, involving many thousands of volunteers, have shown that the average weight loss is approximately 3 stones (19kg), this is based on clinical trial data that is widely available in the public domain. Our own experience has shown the average weight loss for those following the BIB Gastric Balloon programme to be between 2 to 4 stones.
'Can you guarantee that I will lose this amount of weight?'
No clinic or hospital can guarantee exactly how much weight you will lose, however, you can be reassured that the vast majority of people working 'with' their gastric balloon: i.e. using it as intended; as a tool to assist you, often when all other methods have failed, will lose an average of approximately 3 stones (19kg) this applies to over 90% of those surveyed in global clinical trials and is also borne out with our own experience at the European Weight Loss Clinic in Prague.
'I have read ......... in a chat room / forum'
The vast majority of forum posts will be from a positive and encouraging viewpoint, as the posters have been successful in achieving and often surpassing, their goals. However a few may be disappointed that they have not achieved the results they had hoped for (for a number of reasons) and may understandably not be feeling very positive, and may even make disparaging comments, whilst others may post about side effects they were unaware of (in this latter regard there can be both good and bad advice on offer). Like all forums (on any topic) you can ask 1 question and get 10 different answers, this is why we advise a measure of balance when viewing any type of public forum - the good news is that the vast majority of people communicating in gastric balloon forums are posting success stories! It is always best to contact a medical professional if you have any specific questions relating to the gastric balloon.
'Are there any risks associated with the gastric balloon procedure?'
As with all medical procedures there are some risks involved, however, as the gastric balloon is non-surgical it is the safest form of obesity treatment. The primary and in the huge majority of cases the only 'risk' associated with the gastric balloon, is if the balloon were to deflate. If this were to happen, you would most certainly know about it! as the sterile saline solution within the balloon has a dye added to it, so that you would notice when you visited the toilet as your urine would turn bright green/blue. The likelihood of this happening is a less than 1% chance and if it were to happen a new gastric balloon would be provided free of charge.
'What kind of gastric balloon do you use?'
We use the industry standard ALLERGAN (BIB) Bioenterics Intragastric Balloon, not cheaper variations. The ALLERGAN balloon, as well as being the best quality gastric balloon available, is the most widely used gastric balloon in the UK and around the world, with the most clinical trials and data recorded in relation to safety and effectiveness.
'Is it risky to have my gastric balloon abroad?'
Absolutely not, on the contrary if you choose carefully, choosing to have your gastric balloon abroad at the European Weight Loss Clinic in Prague assures you of the highest professional standards and the highest clinical standards available at superb prices offering large cost savings - with zero compromise on quality or care. It's a win - win situation for you: the best quality and service, at the best price. If you do your homework, you will see that in many ways it is safer to have your procedure abroad, if you choose your destination wisely.
UK STANDARDS - READ THIS
'Are there any side effects?'
Typical side effects which can affect approximately 50% of those with the gastric balloon are: nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diahorrea, acid (heartburn) and wind. For those that do experience any of these side effects, they are usually more pronounced in the first 2 weeks after balloon insertion (notably in the first few days immediately after balloon insertion) and will normally lessen and dissipate within 2 weeks on average, also, you will be prescribed medications to help alleviate these symptoms, should you experience them. In a very small number of people (less than 4%) the balloon may need to be removed early due to intolerance (this can be due to physical or psychological intolerance).
'Do I qualify for the BIB Gastric Balloon?'
If you have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 28 and above then you will qualify for the gastric balloon programme. The gastric balloon will typically stay in place for a maximum of 6 months.
'Will I regain the weight I lose with my balloon, once I have had it extracted?'
In the global clinical trials we mentioned earlier, all of the participants were followed up 12 months after the removal of their gastric balloons and the findings were that 87% of people had kept off the initial amount of weight lost with a significant percentage of people going on to lose even more weight once their gastric balloon had been removed. This has also been our experience with EWLC clients.
'What kind of After Care do you provide, will I be compromised by having the procedure abroad?'
We provide the same form of Gastric Balloon after care as all major clinics, this takes the form of open ended contact, and access to our professional team (both via email and our freephone support service) and through dietary and nutritional advice and review and weight loss monitoring. This after care service is available throughout the 6/12 month duration of your gastric balloon and for a further 6 months after balloon extraction. We are here to help you every step of the way, in your efforts to achieve your weight loss goals.
'What are the benefits of having the Gastric Balloon?'
Did you know? A person who is regarded as being Clinically Obese (with a BMI - Body Mass Index of 30 and above) is 6 times more likely to develop High Blood Pressure, 4 times more likely to develop Diabetes, 2 times more likely to develop arthritis, 6 times more likely to suffer Gall Bladder disease, more likely to be infertile, more likely to suffer from back and joint problems, have problems with asthma exacerbated, suffer depression, suffer sleep problems such as sleep apnea, heart problems and stroke and a shortened lifespan (1 in every 11 deaths in the UK is linked to obesity related problems). We do not mention this to cause alarm, rather to highlight the hugely negative health implications associated with obesity (many people are unaware of the risks associated with obesity). The good news is, something can be done. Having the Gastric Balloon procedure and thus losing weight and lowering your BMI (body mass index) to normal or lower levels, will significantly reduce your likelihood of developing these potentially serious medical conditions, and as can be evidenced by many of our clients (including those on our testimonial pages) significant weight loss can resolve many pre-existing conditions associated with obesity. Of course there are also many, many psychological benefits in losing excess weight; people become more confident, feel less isolated, feel more attractive and feel more assertive as well as the obvious benefits associated with feeling great with your new look.
The European Weight Loss Centre Ltd - a company you can trust
In many ways it can be safer to have your Gastric Band procedure with us in Prague. This is because, contrary to what you may have been led to believe, the UK actually has a rather tardy record for 'safety standards' (READ HERE) and to put people off who are planning to have their procedure carried out abroad, on the basis that it is inevitably unsafe, is both misleading and inaccurate. Having said that, there are some super facilities in the UK with excellent surgeons and yes, there are some countries who have come under the spotlight recently, in the media e.g. Belgium and some North African destinations with regard to complications and standards of after - care, but you are absolutely assured of the highest standards with us. Ask yourself this.... might there be a hidden agenda in suggesting that ALL surgery abroad has a higher risk of complications than UK surgery? (Also, bear in mind our clinic has a ZERO incidence of 'superbug' infections, whereas the UK is currently at the top of European League tables for MRSA and C.diff 'superbug' infections).
'How long will it take to recover after surgery?'
The gastric band surgery is performed laparoscopically, patients typically spend one to 3 days at our clinic after their procedure. Most people can return to work approximately 1 week after their procedure.
'Which type of Gastric Band do you use?'
We use the Allergan Gastric Band LAP-BAND® System which is approved by both the NHS and the FDA and virtually every Health Regulatory Body around the world .
A vast amount of clinical and research studies have been published globally which show the Allergan Lap-Band Gastric Band is the most widely used gastric banding device and has the highest proven records of safety and efficacy.
There are over 600,000 people around the world who have or who have had the Allergan Lap-Band Gastric Band.
'Will I be sick after the procedure?'
The gastric band limits the amount of food you can eat. If you feel nauseas on a frequent basis, it could mean that you are not chewing your food well enough or that you are not following dietary recommendations. It could also mean that there is a problem with the placement of your band (this is rare), so you should contact us if this problem persists. Vomiting should be avoided as much as is possible, but it will be normal to some extent, especially soon after the procedure.
'Is the procedure reversible?'
Yes the procedure is designed to be reversible.
'Will I feel hungry?'
The gastric band will help you to eat much less and also feel full quicker, working in two ways; firstly by reducing the capacity of your stomach and second by increasing the time it takes food to travel through your digestive system. For example, after a small meal, you should feel full. If you follow the nutritional guidelines when choosing your food and you chew it well, you should not feel hungry or deprived. Remember that the gastric band should be regarded as a tool to help you change your eating habits and your relationship with food.
'How often will I need to see someone after my Gastric Band procedure?'
It is normal for clients to need one or perhaps two band adjustments within the first year and less in years two and three, depending on the individual case.
'How is my gastric band adjusted?'
Adjustments are performed quickly and easily using a very thin needle to inject or withdraw saline solution from your band via your access port. This can be done quickly in an office setting or can be carried with X-ray assistance (using flouroscopy) at one of our partner clinics near you. Most adjustments take only a few minutes and patients report that they are virtually painless.
'Can I eat anything I want?'
You can eat most foods that don't cause you discomfort. Because you can only eat a little food at any given time, it is important that you include foods that are rich in vital and important vitamins and nutrients, foods such as those recommended by your surgeon and/or nutritionist. If you eat foods that contain lots of sugar and fat or drink liquids full of empty calories (beer/wine/cider, spirits), milkshakes, ice-cream, liquidised Mars bars, etc, the effect of the gastric band may be greatly reduced or even cancelled out completely.
'What if I fall pregnant?'
If you are trying to become pregnant you will normally find it easier once you have lost weight as your menstrual cycle will most likely become more regular. Also, if you need to eat more while you are pregnant, the band can be loosened. After pregnancy, the band may be tightened again so that you can resume your weight loss.
'Should I take a Multi Vitamin/Mineral supplement?'
Yes, this is very important! as it is possible that you may not get enough essential vitamins and minerals from three small meals a day, which could in turn create health related problems.
'Do I have to 'protect' the access port area underneath my skin?'
You should not have any activity restrictions based on your access port. Your access port is placed under the skin in the abdominal wall area, and once the incisions have healed the access port should not cause you any discomfort or limit any physical exercise. The only sensation you should experience from the your port will normally only occur if you have a band adjustment.
'Can I drink alcohol?'
Alcohol has a high number of 'dead' calories and it can rob the body of essential vitamins and minerals, so it is never recommended as a healthy option. However, an occasional glass of wine or beer, or other alcoholic drink, should not significantly affect your weight loss.
'What happens if something goes wrong?'
Problems that can arise, from time to time (albeit rarely), are 'band slippage' and 'port detachment' these rare occurrences can be easily rectified and in these circumstances corrective procedure(s) would be carried out free of charge at our clinic.
'I naturally like the idea of very significant cost savings, having my Gastric Band procedure carried out at your clinic, but am I compromising quality, safety and clinical standards in any way as a result?'
The short answer is NO, we use the same Gastric Bands available at all reputable private UK clinics and hospitals (including leading NHS hospitals) and we offer the same levels of after care as all major providers (with band adjustments available in the UK). Our Surgeons are all board certified, having carried out many Thousands of Gastric Band procedures, the standards (at all levels) in our Prague clinic are at least equal to those on offer in the UK, the only difference is of course cost, which means very significant savings to you, with no compromise.
'It all seems very convincing and I feel reassured, do you offer any 'guarantees' ?
We guarantee, that if your Gastric Band is in any way 'faulty' (extremely unlikely we may add) we will replace it, free of charge! Now that surely must provide complete peace of mind for you and illustrate our standards and credentials.
'So what is my next step?'
The European Weight Loss Centre Ltd - a company you can trust