Intragastric Balloon


The intragastric balloon is designed to be inserted into the stomach and inflated to a volume which will restrict the amount you can eat and reduce hunger.

We are proud to offer our extensive experience with weight loss to patients requiring the intragastric balloon.

The intragastric balloon is not a permanent solution as it may only be inserted for a limited time.
Our team offer a multidisciplinary approach to helping you achieve your weight loss goals. After obtaining a referral from your General Practitioner, you will attend an initial consultation with your surgeon. You will also see our dietitian prior to the intragastric balloon being inserted and at least twice before the intragastric balloon is removed.

The following is general information about the intragastric balloon but it does not and cannot take the place of detailed discussion with your surgeon. This information is not intended and must not be taken as personal medical advice.

When comparing costs, please be aware that our costs include all of the following:

  • Initial consultation with Surgeon
  • Dietitian consultations inclusive of 1 x pre-insertion, 2 x post-insertion appointments
  • Surgeon, Assistant Surgeon and Anaesthetist
  • Access to on-call Surgeon at all times
  • Comprehensive after care

Our operations are performed only in Private Hospitals. An approximate figure is around $8,000 out of pocket. For more information or if you would like to make an appointment please telephone (03) 9760 2777, email: or contact us here.

Please note that Medicare and your private health fund provide NO REBATE for the balloon or any part of the costs associated with insertion of the balloon.

Complications of the intragastric balloon are uncommon but include the following:

Early Intolerance

Some patients may not be able to tolerate the presence of the balloon and may request its removal in the first 2-3 weeks. There is no refund of costs in this situation.

Obstruction of the intestine by the balloon

If the balloon were to develop a leak, it can deflate and block the intestines. This is rare but a very major problem requiring abdominal surgery. Deflation of the balloon prior to 6 months of it being in place is exceptionally rare but becomes more likely after six months which is why we insist the balloon is removed after six months.

Injury to the digestive tract during placement of the balloon

LAPSurgery surgeons are fully trained in the techniques of insertion of the intragastric balloon and such an injury is judged extremely unlikely but nevertheless possible.

Continued nausea and vomiting

Whilst this ceases after a few days for most people, a small number of people may experience ongoing symptoms requiring the balloon to be removed.

Gastric reflux

Some patients will experience quite severe heartburn. In most cases this will be controlled with appropriate medication.

Other complications

A variety of other possible complications are possible but very rare. For a complete list of possible complications please click here for information.

Varied Results

A small percentage of patients may not achieve any significant weight loss and some patients may not be able to maintain the weight loss that is achieved at the time the balloon is removed.

For more information on Obera® related procedures, visit

1. Long term maintenance of weight loss

2. Possible control or remission of serious illness associated with obesity including:

  • Raised Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep Apnoea
  • Depression

3. Improved quality of life, being able to stop dieting

4. Ability to participate in family activities eg. swimming, playing sport, chasing the kids

5. Ability to purchase clothes in mainstream shops

The team at LAPSurgery Australia are recognised for their exceptional and major contribution to the Government sponsored Bariatric Safety Registry (BSR). The BSR tracks surgical complications and provides an unbiased safety record for weight loss surgery.

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The intragastric balloon is designed to be inserted into the stomach and inflated to a volume which will restrict the amount you can eat and reduce hunger. It is easily and simply inserted through the mouth under a light anaesthetic. It is performed as a day case procedure in hospital.


The main aim of the balloon is to help people with a BMI between 27 and 35. To check your BMI, go to our BMI Calculator Page.

There is good evidence that some people with this sort of weight problem can, after losing the excess weight, retrain themselves and change their lifestyles to enable the weight loss to be maintained.

The intragastric balloon can help patients to lose 10 to 20 kg of weight relatively quickly. It may be used in patients with BMI over 35 as a short term measure when rapid weight loss is critical. An example may be someone requiring urgent hip or knee surgery where the orthopaedic surgeon requires weight loss in the order of 10 to 20 kg before going ahead with the procedure.

The balloon must be removed after six months. Eventually the balloon, which is made of silicone, degrades and may burst. Should this happen it can block the intestines and this is obviously a very severe problem which may require urgent major surgery. In fact, we will not perform insertion of an intragastric balloon without your written agreement that you will have it removed in six months’ time.

Yes. Similar side effects to the first balloon may be experienced.

This is not recommended. For 3 to 5 days you may be VERY uncomfortable and may experience nausea, vomiting and crampy abdominal pain.

You will be helped through this phase by your doctor and the LapSurgery Australia nurses with appropriate medication prescribed. In some instances you may need to be admitted to hospital to be rehydrated with an intravenous drip and will incur further costs.

In most cases, after the first few days, the only sensation you will have is one of fullness and lack of appetite. Normal activity and exercise is unrestricted.

Right: The balloon sits in the stomach decreasing the capacity of the stomach.


The balloon is currently only available at Mulgrave Private Hospital.

It is best to discuss weight management with our team of surgeons and dietitians.

The intragastric balloon has a dedicated website with further information. Please go to for more information.

For enquiries or to make an appointment with one of our surgeons please telephone 03 9760 2777, email: or contact us here. Please note that you will require a referral from your General Practitioner.

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