Gastric Band Surgery (Lap Band)
Gastric Band Surgery Cost
Gastric Band with 18 Month Aftercare £5,950
What is a Gastric Band Surgery?
There are many types of weight loss surgeries available to you, your consultant will discuss all the options available and will help you choose the best suited to you.
A gastric band involves dividing your stomach into two by placing a silicone band around the stomach therefore creating a small pouch at the top of your stomach (roughly the size of a golf ball). This effectively reduces the amount of food you can eat before filling up the pouch and will leave you feeling fuller for longer on a smaller amount of food. The rate at which food is allowed to empty out of the pouch and into your lower stomach is also controlled.
Having the band will require regular adjustments at the clinic to either loosen or tighten the band. This is done via a button like port connected to the band by a small, thin tube and sterile salt water (saline) is passed through the tube to inflate the band. The port is not visible as it is placed below the skin and fat.
What does the procedure involve?
The gastric band takes around 45 minutes to an hour and will require one night stay in hospital.
You will be given general anaesthetic and will be asleep for the duration of the procedure with no pain.
In this time, your surgeon will make a series of small incisions in the abdomen known as laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery which has a faster recovery time and causes less pain compared to one large incision. Once the incisions have been made a thin tube containing a light and camera (laparoscope) is inserted with other small instruments required to complete the procedure. The band is then placed around your stomach. Some of your lower stomach will be folded over the band stitched to the upper stomach pouch in order to keep the band in place.
In some cases, keyhole surgery is not always possible for people who are severely morbidly obese.
On average, people lose between 50-60% of their excess weight in two years (British Medical Journal).
The procedure is reversible.
Is a gastric band the right option for me?
The procedure will only be recommended to you by your bariatric doctor if, you have attempted, but failed to shift excess weight via other means such as eating healthily, exercising and taking relevant medicines for at least six months.
Criteria for surgery:
- You have a BMI of 35 plus and have a medical condition like high blood pressure and diabetes that may improve once you have lost weight
- You have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 plus and are morbidly obese
- You will need to be fit enough to have the procedure
- Be aware that losing and maintaining the weight you have lost is something you must be committed to as well as changing to a more active and healthy lifestyle
- You must be willing to attend regular check-ups after surgery
What are the benefits of gastric band?
- Long term weight loss (providing you maintain your healthier and more active lifestyle)
- Generally 50-60% loss of excess weight
- Any health problems related to obesity you may have should improve with long term weight loss
- Generally a low risk procedure
- Fully reversible (although you should be aware that this may lead to gaining weight after the band is removed)
- Small recovery time after surgery
What are the risks?
When it comes to deciding which weight loss procedure to choose, all options will have their risks and benefits, it is important to be aware of the risks involved. These will be discussed further in your consultation.
- Whilst your wounds heal after surgery, you are likely to have some pain, swelling and bruising of the skin
- In the first few weeks after surgery you may feel nauseous and may vomit after eating and it is recommended you do not eat too much and chew your food well
- May have gallstones through losing weight quickly
- Risk of complications after surgery is increased due to being very overweight
- The band may need to be repositioned, removed or replaced if it leaks, deflates or slips out of place. Generally one in 10 people may need to have their band replaced in the future.
- Your wound, port or band may become infected
- An open operation may be required should your stomach/other organs in your abdomen be injured during keyhole surgery
What happens after gastric band surgery?
After surgery, if you need painkillers, you are able to take pain relief like paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Initially, you will be unable to eat large amounts of food so it is recommended that you stick to liquids and then pureed food. Your bariatric surgeon will discuss changing to a healthier diet and what foods and quantities you should be consuming.
After having the procedure, in order to make the outcome as successful as possible, you will need to lead a more active lifestyle and also reduce your alcohol intake.
Regular check-ups are required after surgery in order to adjust the band and also take blood tests to ensure you are receiving the correct nutrients, vitamins, etc.
Recovery generally takes two weeks before you make a full recovery.
For more information please read our weight loss surgery blog
For gastric band costs visit our weight loss surgery prices page
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