Gastric balloon surgery has become a popular form of weight loss for several Kenyan celebrities in recent years. Maureen Waititu, Willis Raburu, Kate Kamau and Jacky Matubia are just a few who have been open about undergoing the procedure.

In a recent interview, mom influencer, lawyer and model, Maureen Waititu, opened up about her recent procedure saying that she decided to take the step after trying different weight loss methods and deciding that they were not sustainable.

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“I was on diet, I was exercising…I was taking zero sugar… although it works it actually does work but it’s a more sustainability issue,” she said.

She had initially begun the process of losing weight because she was concerned about her health and her advancement in age saying she was worried she was predisposed to illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes.

“…my health was really suffering and then you know with age. I think it’s very important to be aware of Lifestyle illnesses,” Maureen said, adding “my mom has diabetes and high blood pressure and she’s a very tiny lady and I was like maybe I’m predisposed so what can I do hence the weight loss.”

Speaking about the procedure done by Nairobi Bariatric, she said she has lost 20kgs and feels fabulous but that there were some side effects.

“It does have side effects, you have to constantly eat very small meals these, of course, are my side effects, maybe for someone else it’s different. I get a lot of acidity and bloating because it’s a foreign object and the stomach is trying to digest it constantly.”

She also added that she now eats in bites because the balloon is meant to give her the discipline to eat small amounts of food and revealed that it has changed her sleeping position.

“When I get hungry I can eat a bite, but I can’t eat enough because the portions are so small so it’s meant to give you that discipline. When it comes to sleeping, I sleep on my left side because the stomach is on this side so because of the acidity. It’s like pregnancy all over again.”

What is gastric balloon surgery?

According to John Hopkins, this surgery involves the insertion of a gastric balloon which is a soft, smooth, durable balloon made of silicone rubber designed to be placed in the stomach to reduce its capacity and help you feel full with less food. The deflated balloon is inserted through the mouth and into the stomach by a doctor using a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope.

How does it work?

The process combines long-term diet and lifestyle changes with a short-term medical implant – the gastric balloon. The implant works by taking up space, making you feel full and restricting how much you can eat.

History

In 1985 the Garren-Edwards gastric bubble was the first intra-gastric balloon (IGB) to receive approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This balloon was designed by 2 gastroenterologists; Lloyd R. Garren and his wife Mary L. It was initially designed to help those who suffer from morbid obesity.

Where in Kenya is the surgery performed?

The Nairobi Bariatric Centre is the foremost gastronomy clinic in Kenya. It boasts clients like Willis Raburu and Maureen Waititu.

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