Gastric band surgery is a common weight loss procedure. Often referred to as restrictive weight loss surgery; a gastric band works by placing an adjustable band around the top of your stomach, restricting the amount of food your stomach can hold, leaving you feeling fuller after smaller meals.
Many people opt for weight loss surgery because they have decided they want to make a change in their lives. They have struggled to lose excess weight through lifestyle changes including a balanced diet and exercise. They want to enjoy the simple things in life, such as going on holiday, being active with the children or shopping for a new wardrobe.
But, it is important to note that a gastric band is a major operation with its own benefits and risks. It is therefore important to weigh up the different options available to you throughout your weight loss journey.
So what does gastric band surgery actually look like? We break down how the surgery works and what you might expect in the weeks following your operation.
The gastric band is fitted by the surgeon via keyhole surgery (laparoscopically). This method means that only 3-4 small incisions will be made in your stomach. The surgeon will insert a tiny camera, referred to as a laparoscope through the incisions and will operate using long, thin instruments.
Your surgeon will place the gastric band carefully and securely around the upper part of your stomach, creating a small pouch. A piece of fine tubing connects the band to an injection port just underneath the skin.
The gastric band can be inflated or deflated by adding or removing fluid through the injection port. This adjusts the size of the space between the pouch and the lower stomach but doesn’t modify the size of the pouch. The band will be fixed in place so it will not come undone. Overall, gastric band surgery usually takes around an hour.
Once the gastric band procedure is complete, it’s time for you to begin your recovery. Following surgery, you may need to rest until the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off. Some light pain relief will be given if you are feeling any discomfort.
Most of our patients choose to go home the same day. If you do, it is important that you have someone with you to help you make the journey. Everyone reacts differently to surgery, and so you may also be required to stay overnight based on your surgeon’s advice.
Before you leave the hospital, your surgeon or dietitian will also provide advice on when you can begin eating and the types of foods you can select from and which you need to avoid. It may take up to two weeks before you can fully return to your normal activities.
We provide you with plenty of information to aid your recovery. If you need any support, our weight loss surgery support team, are on hand to help. Read more about our aftercare here.
Adjustments will be made to your gastric band to encourage maximum weight loss results. The first adjustment usually occurs several weeks after surgery. Your nurse will adjust your gastric band by adding or removing solution.
Remember; any weight loss you achieve for gastric band surgery should be supported by a balanced diet and exercise to ensure you maintain a healthy weight.
If you would like to find out more about gastric band surgery, book a free consultation with one of our advisors today.