What is the gastric band?
The gastric band is a hollow ring made from a silicone shell. When placed around the upper part of the stomach, a new small stomach “pouch” about the size of a golf ball is created above the band, leaving the larger part of stomach below. In this way the food storage area in the stomach is reduced since the pouch above the gastric band can hold only a small amount of food at any one time.
The band is connected by tubing to an adjustment port under the skin which allows saline to be introduced (to tighten) or removed (to loosen) from the band. This adjustment port has a central, ‘self-sealing’ silicone core.
Is a gastric band suitable for me?
Your eligibility for a gastric band procedure is based on a number of factors including your weight and medical history but as a general rule, it could be suitable for you if…
- You have a BMI of 30kg/m2 or over
- You’ve tried and failed with diets and know that you need a more long term solution
- You want a low risk procedure with proven results
How will it help me lose weight?
The gastric band can be adjusted to control the restriction around the new small pouch . When saline solution is introduced through the adjustment port, the hollow band fills and tightens around the stomach, making it harder for food to pass through into the larger stomach. Adjustments can be used to carefully control the volume of food that you can eat and the speed at which you lose weight. The skill and experience of your band adjustment team is, therefore, vital to achieving safe and effective weight loss.
So how does it work?
- The band tricks the brain into thinking the whole stomach is full when only the small pouch above the band is full
- You feel satisfied after eating less so you reduce your portion size and calorie intake by 50-60%
- It helps you control your hunger so you are able to take back control of your eating
How much weight will I lose?
We expect a gastric band patient to lose 50-60% of their excess weight in the first 2 years with most weight loss in the first year). Naturally some people will lose more and others a little less than this.
What does the procedure involve?
The gastric band is implanted laparoscopically (“keyhole” surgery) under general anaesthetic and takes around 30-45 minutes. It usually involves a one night stay in hospital but can be carried out as a day case procedure. Most patients will take a few days to recover and we advise taking a week off work (depends on the nature of your work).