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Complications of the Intragastric Balloon 

Complications of the Intragastric Balloon
Complications of the Intragastric Balloon

Ashok Menon

, Haris A. Khwaja

, Ariel Ortiz Lagardere

, Manoel Galvao Neto

, and Jaime Ponce

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date: 09 December 2021

Intragastric balloons (IGB) have been used in the treatment of obesity for over 30 years. The first notable IGB device (the Garren Edwards Gastric Bubble) was withdrawn from the market due to patients’ poor weight loss and a high rate of complications. Several subsequent devices have been designed to address these shortcomings, but high-quality data are needed to compare complication rates among devices. Mortality across all IGB variants is extremely low compared to other bariatric procedures. Complications are mainly associated with visceral injury related to device insertion and retrieval, and with the presence or migration of an in-situ device, such as gastric ulceration and perforation, intolerance, gastrointestinal obstruction, and, rarely, acute pancreatitis. The incidence of postoperative venous thromboembolism (VTE) has not been extensively investigated, and it is not clear whether VTE is device-related or is due to increased VTE risk in bariatric patients.

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