Gastric banding

What is gastric banding?

Gastric banding, also known as lap banding, is a highly effective procedure that limits how much you can eat by making you feel full after eating a small portion of food. It works by restricting the capacity of your stomach so that you eat less and, over time, lose weight.

What does gastric banding involve?

During the operation, your surgeon will place an adjustable band around your stomach to create two compartments, keeping a narrow opening between the top and bottom so that food can pass through it slowly. As a consequence, there is a limited space left for food so it should quickly create the sensation of fullness. Once the food passes through the opening into the lower part of the stomach, it then makes its way through the rest of the digestive system. The band will be inserted into the abdomen using keyhole surgery, through four or five small cuts.

After the procedure, your band may be adjusted depending on how much weight you are losing, and how quickly you are losing it. Fluid is usually injected into the band to tighten it, and this is known as a band fill. These will be done at hospital, and the first one is usually six weeks after gastric banding.

When will I recover?

You may need to stay in hospital one or two nights so we can make sure you are happy with everything before you go home, although some gastric banding operations are now carried out as a day case with no overnight stay in hospital.

Most people need around two weeks to recover after the operation and you will need to visit hospital regularly to have the banding adjusted. You will need to attend follow-up appointments with your doctor and dietician.

Our team of dieticians and specialist nurses will look after you throughout your stay and provide support and advice after surgery.

What risks should I know about?

Gastric banding is a commonly performed and generally safe procedure. However, all surgery carries an element of risk. These include the possibility of bleeding and infection after surgery and band slippage. Some people also find that after a year or two of rapid weight loss they are left with excess skin.

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