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Gastric Band Surgery

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Learn more about gastric band surgery at King Edward VII’s Hospital

We know taking the first steps towards weight loss surgery can be overwhelming.  Here you can find out more about our London bariatric consultants and find out if this treatment is the right option for you. On this page King Edward VII’s Hospital London weight loss surgery specialists answer your questions about the procedure.

Why would I need gastric band surgery?

If you’re obese with a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or over or a BMI or 35 or over along with another chronic health condition such as type 2 diabetes, then weight loss surgery can help you lose weight.

Gastric band surgery is an effective type of weight loss surgery that reduces the size of your stomach meaning that your calorie intake will be greatly reduced. This will lead to significant weight loss over the coming months and years.

What symptoms does gastric band surgery address?

Being obese can be associated with other obesity related health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

A gastric band is an effective way of shrinking the stomach therefore reducing the amount of food you can consume, helping you to lose weight and reduce your risk of other health conditions related to your weight.

When should you speak to your specialist about gastric band surgery?

If you’re struggling to lose weight via lifestyle, diet and exercise changes, and you’re experiencing obesity related health conditions, then your GP may be able to refer you for gastric band surgery.

How is gastric band surgery performed?

Gastric band surgery is performed as keyhole surgery under a general anaesthetic meaning that you’ll be asleep throughout. Your surgeon will make a few surgical cuts to your abdomen and then will then use long, thin surgical instruments to gain access to your stomach.

They will then place a small surgical band around the top of the stomach to create a small pouch. This effectively means that your stomach is separated into two sections – the small pouch at the top and the remaining, larger section below.

Food then fills the small pouch, meaning that you feel fuller more quickly, before it slowly passes into the larger section and then into the intestine. It limits the amount of food you can consume in one go, meaning that you consume less.

The gastric band is connected to a small surgical device that sits just under the skin in the chest. This is then used to tighten the band, usually around four to six weeks after surgery using salt water passed into the device using a needle and syringe. This alters the size of the pouch depending on your needs.

Gastric band surgery usually takes around an hour.

What is the recovery like for gastric band surgery?

Your recovery from gastric band surgery will depend on multiple factors, including your age, fitness level and the nature of your procedure.

Most people require a night in hospital following gastric band surgery. When you’ve recovered from your anaesthetic, your nursing tea will help you out of bed and on to your feet. They will also give you advice from your surgeon on how best to recover and look after your wounds.

In the days following gastric band surgery, you will need to follow a strict liquid diet. In the following weeks you will then slowly introduce soft foods before then eating small amounts of solid foods. You will be provided with full dietary advice for the weeks following surgery and beyond.

Are there any risks/complications associated with gastric band surgery?

As with any medical procedure, it’s possible for risks or complications to arise. Speaking with your specialist or surgeon beforehand will help you avoid any adverse reactions.

Gastric band surgery has a relatively low risk of serious complications, but the following risks and complications can occur in a small number of cases:

• Bleeding
• An infection at the surgical site
• Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
• Swelling
• Nerve damage
• A leak from your stomach into your abdomen
• Gallstones
• Hernia
• Stomach ulcer

How can I prepare for gastric band surgery?

Prior to gastric band surgery, your surgeon will discuss with you how best to prepare, as each patient is different with different needs.

Common preparations for gastric band surgery include:

• Routine blood tests, x rays or scans as requested by your surgeon
• Taking steps to stop smoking if you smoke
• Trying to lose weight
• Remaining active and doing regular exercise

Are there alternatives for gastric band surgery?

If diet and exercise alone hasn’t helped you lose weight and you’re obese, then weight loss surgery such as a gastric band may be the best option for you. Other weight loss surgeries such as a mini gastric bypass or a gastric bypass are also available and your surgeon can discuss the best one with you depending on your circumstances.




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