Can You Work with a Gastric Balloon?

Spatz3 is the world’s only Adjustable Gastric Balloon System

A common question about work with a gastric balloon is when can I go back to work? This is a normal question as many people want to resume their regular lives as quickly as possible following a gastric balloon. While getting back to normal is important, it’s also necessary to rest after a gastric balloon insertion to ensure that you’re actually well enough to return to work and to avoid complications. Thus, the answer of can you work with a gastric balloon is “yes, of course,” but the question of when is another consideration altogether.

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How Long Do I Need to Rest after Gastric Balloon Insertion

If you’ve looked into gastric balloon procedures, then you know how they work, but if not, allow us to briefly explain how gastric balloons are inserted and how they work.

  • You eat a light, liquid diet for roughly a week leading up to the procedure and then go to your doctor’s office.
  • You will get a mild sedative, and your doctor will insert the balloon into your stomach by way of your esophagus. The balloon will be filled with saline.
  • You will be free to return home where you may experience nausea, bloating and discomfort, heartburn, and gas. This is normal, and you will have medications to resolve these discomforts.
  • You will slowly resume eating a regular diet over the course of the next week or so.

As you recover, you will need to plan to not work after a gastric balloon procedure especially if your job is strenuous. It’s typical for it to take up to 4-7 days before you can and should return to work. While you are at home, you should plan to rest after gastric balloon insertion.

How to Return to Work after Gastric Balloon Insertion

When you are ready to return to work, you need to have a plan. First, you need to communicate to your boss or immediate advisor or manager that you have recently had a gastric balloon procedure and that may impact things for a short while if that’s the case.

If your job doesn’t involve much heavy lifting, then you are likely to return to work and adapt without issue. When attending work with a gastric balloon, though, many report social discomforts.

For example, if your company or office has a culture of doing a potluck lunch or celebrating birthdays with cakes and sodas and pizza parties, etc. you may have to decline participation. This can be uncomfortable and can make others feel awkward as workplace cultures usually have an unstated policy of participation in these social rituals.

If you are comfortable telling people when you return to work after gastric balloon insertion, then by all means tell your coworkers that you’re doing a gastric balloon treatment. Most if not all will be proud and supportive, and they will be impressed with your strength and resolve.

Eating at Work with a Gastric Balloon

Just as the culture can be uncomfortable in certain situations, lunch and snacks in general can be confusing. When you do return to work with a gastric balloon, you need to be prepared.

Pack a lunch full of healthy foods and snacks that make you feel excited to eat throughout the day. Remember that you do need to eat smaller meals more often, so don’t sabotage your gastric balloon by not coming prepared to do so. Also, leave the quarters at home to avoid the temptation of the vending machine.

Work With Gastric Balloon

Will the Gastric Balloon Impact My Work

Beyond social issues and the first week where you need to avoid work, your gastric balloon will not impact your work experience at all regardless of the industry you are in. Even if you have a physically demanding job, once you feel well enough and free of pain and initial side effects, you are safe to return to work.

Naturally, you should still ask your doctor about your specific jobs and about specific concerns. If your work does have a culture around food (for example, fire fighters do potluck and many offices celebrate happy occasions with food), talk to your counselor or someone at your doctor’s office about how to manage these sticky spots. Suddenly not participating can feel uncomfortable and antisocial.

Thus, while you certainly can work with a gastric balloon once you’ve healed, it’s important to make sure you’ve taken steps to prepare for returning to work and adapting to the workplace with a gastric balloon.

Resuming former activities like going to work after getting a gastric balloon can take adjustment. Not only do you have to adjust to the physical sensation of the gastric balloon, but you also need to adjust to bringing a lunch and possibly not participating in workplace food rituals. Your gastric balloon specialist can help with that. Contact us at Spatz Medical today to see if you qualify for a gastric balloon and to learn more about how a gastric balloon will transform your life.

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