How does the procedure work?
Gastric banding (also known as lap banding) involves having an inflatable band put around the top of the stomach to create a small pouch with a narrow opening to the rest of the stomach. This therefore limits how quickly food can enter the rest of the stomach and thus restricts the capacity of the stomach. The band can be inflated or deflated as necessary, this is done at a follow up consultation.
How long will I be in hospital?
The procedure usually only takes 30mins-1hr and patients stay in overnight.
How much weight will I lose?
Research shows patients can lose 50-60% of excess weight within two years. It is really important to make and stick to the lifestyle changes discussed with the consultant and dietitian. Making bad food choices can result in poor results and exercise is key to increasing metabolism, reducing the risk of blood clots and reducing cholesterol and blood pressure.
What are the risks and side effects specific to a gastric band?
Occasionally the band may slip out of place or break, in which case further surgery may be required. There is also a chance the band may erode through the stomach wall, in which case the band should be removed. It is also possible for the port (where the band is filled) to become infected, if so antibiotics are usually prescribed.
How long does it take to recover after surgery?
Initially you will need to rest, but then patients should gradually increase levels of activity and exercise. Recovery time vary amongst patients but usually patients can return to work 2-3 weeks after surgery, unless you work in manual labour in which case it may be a little longer.
The graph above shows percentage excess weight loss. An example to illustrate what this means would be someone weighing 20 stone whose ideal weight is 10 stone, they would have 10 stone of excess weight, 100%. If they lose 50% of their excess weight they would then be 15 stone. This is a useful way to compare results after bariatric procedures because it then does not matter how much people weigh to start with or how much weight they lose, it's all relative to the individual.