Gastric banding

Gastric banding




Patient  information

A gastric band operation is a type of weight loss surgery. The capacity of the stomach is reduced using an adjustable band so that only small meal can be eaten.
A gastric band operation can help you to lose your overweight. It works by reducing the capacity of your stomach,which means, that you eat less because you feel full much sooner.

The adjustable band is a circular balloon, similar to a tiny inner tube, which is placed around the upper part of your stomach.The band is then inflated through a port which is placed just under the skin. This creates a pouch of stomach above the band. When you eat, the pouch fills up quickly and the food then passes slowly through the narrow opening created by the band, into the lower part of your stomach.The food then travels normally through the  rest of your digestive system.

Gastric band is indicated for you if you have tried ohter methods of weight loss, such as diet and exercise  and these haven`t worked. This type of operation will  be offered to you if:

*you`re very overweight with a body mass index(BMI) of more than 40
*you have a BMI  between 35 and 40 and you also have a medial condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure that might improve if you lose weight. A gastric band can be removed if needed. However , removing the band may cause you to gain weight.

A gastric band operation is usually done under general anaesthesia.This means you will be asleep during the operation.You will usually have to stay overnight in hospidal after your operation.

A gastric band operation usually takes about an hour.*

A gastric band is usually fitted using laparoscopic surgery. During laparoscopic surgery a number of small incisions are made in your abdomen, rather than one large cut.

The gastric band contains a circular balloon which can be filled with saline.Your surgeon can add or remove saline  from the band after your operation through the injection port. This controls the size of the opening of your stomach and determines how quickly the pouch empties.

The gastric band is inserted empty and is adjusted by your surgeon a few weeks after your operation once any swelling of the stomach caused by the surgery has gone down. You`re likely to have your band adjusted two or three times in the first few months after your operation.These adjustments are made to make sure you`re steadily losing the right amount of weight.

You will have a drip inserted into a vein in your hand or arm to give you fluids. If you feel well enough, you can start to drink small amounts of water soon after your operation.You will be encouraged to get out of bed and move around as soon as you feel able. This helps to  prevent blood clots in your legs or a pulmonary  infection. You may also have further heparin injection to prevent blood clots.

You will usually be able to go home the day after your operation and will need to arrange for someone to draive you home. You will be given advice about the diet that you need to follow in the weeks following procedure.

You will need to make major changes to the food you eat after your operation; you will only be able to eat small amounts at each meal. At the beginning  you need to stick with liquids  and then move onto pureed food. You may also be asked about to take vitamin supplements.

You may also need to make other changes to your lifestyle, such as becoming more active. These changes will help you to get the most from your gastric band operation and will help to lose excess weight and keep it off . Regular exercise will also help to reduce the probleem of loose skin.Your dietician and surgeon will give you more advice about the foods you can eat and what ohter changes you need to make.

It usually takes about two weeks to make a full recovery from a gastric band operation,  but this varies between individuals.*

A gastric band operation is generally safe. However, in order to make an informed decision and give your consent, you need to be aware of the possible side-effects and the risk of complications.

Side-effects are the unwanted but mostly temporary effects you may get after having the procedure.   You`re likely to have some bruising, pain and swelling of the skin around the healing wounds .Once your gastric band is fitted, you  may feel or be sick after eating, especially if you try to eat  too much . Chewing your food well, eating smaller amounts and choosing foods that are easy to digest will help to reduce these side-effects.

The possible complications of any operation include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic , excessive bleeding or developing a blood clot., usually in a vein in the leg (DVT).

Being vey overweight increases the risk of complications following any operation. You`re more likely to have complications from having a general anaesthetic and more risk of developing blood clots. If you have other conditions linked to your weight, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, these can also increase you risk of developing complications.

Complications specific to a gastric band operation:
*An infection around the gastric band,  or in your wounds.You may also develop a pulmonary  infection
*Injury to your stomach or other organs in your abdomen during the operation. This may mean your surgeon has to swap to  an open operation by making a larger incision
*The gastric band may slip out of place, leak and deflate , or slowly work its way through the stomach wall. If this happens, the band may need to be repositioned, removed or replaced.
*If you lose weight too quickly you may develop gallstones.These can be painful and you may need a surgery to remove them.

Not everyone loses the right amount of weight arter the operation, and some peole put weight back on after they have lost it. If this happens your surgeon may suggest other treatments, such as gastric bypass surgery.


(c) Dr. Rein Adamson

The examples given in the text are general and may vary in individual patients. For the most accurate information, please contact with doctor.