Gastric band surgery, also known as lap banding, can boost both the physical and psychological health of obese people who have already tried to lose weight through lifestyle changes. The surgery reduces the capacity of your stomach by putting a band around it, so that you eat less and, over time, lose weight.
Obesity can affect both your physical and mental well-being. People who have taken action to reduce their weight by having a gastric band fitted with us say that they have achieved significant weight loss. This in turn has a wide ranging positive impact on their life, including:
Gastric banding may be appropriate for you if:
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
We understand that having surgery can potentially be a time of anxiety and worry. Our experienced and caring clinical staff will be there for you, holding your hand every step of the way.
Your consultant will have discussed with you whether your gastric banding procedure is best done as keyhole surgery.
With keyhole surgery your surgeon will make a series of small incisions in the abdomen, rather than one large incision. Gastric band surgery is usually carried out this way as it causes less pain afterwards and you'll recover more quickly than following traditional surgery.
You will have a general anaesthetic so you'll be asleep during the operation. The surgeon will insert an instrument known as a laparoscope through one of the cuts. A laparoscope is a thin, rigid tube containing a light and a camera. The camera relays images of the inside of your abdomen to a television monitor.
Your surgeon will place an adjustable band around your stomach to create two compartments, keeping a narrow opening between the top and bottom of your stomach so that food can pass through it slowly.
Keyhole (or laparoscopic surgery) may not always be possible if you are morbidly obese or you have had other abdominal operations. In this case, one larger cut will be made in your abdomen to access the stomach.
The operation typically takes around one hour.
Your consultant will have discussed with you beforehand whether it is likely you will be able to go home after your gastric banding surgery without an overnight stay. If you are required to stay at the hospital, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home. Most people stay in hospital for around 24 hours.
For the first 24 hours you will only be allowed to drink clear fluids. After this your surgeon or dietitian may start you on a pureed diet for several days, although some surgeons advise a liquid diet for a longer period.
Our team of dietitians and specialist nurses will look after you throughout your stay and provide support and advice after treatment.
You will probably feel pain where the cuts were made but this should pass after a few days. We will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital, up to 14 days. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.
You'll be able to resume normal activities within three to five weeks.
Before you go home, your nurse will give you advice about caring for your healing wounds, hygiene and bathing.
Weight loss from gastric band surgery is often rapid and dramatic: most people lose around 35% of their surplus weight within six months, rising to 50% after two years. To maintain these results, we'll give you advice around long-term lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise.
Once you’re ready to be discharged, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home as you won’t be able to drive. You should also ask them if they can run some light errands, such as shopping, for you as you won’t be feeling up to it for a few days.
Your nurse will also give you a telephone number for the hospital, in case you need to ask for further advice. Your consultant will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
You will also be given a date for a follow up appointment. Some time after the procedure it's possible your band may be adjusted – depending on how much weight you are losing and how quickly. This is usually done through injecting fluid into the band to tighten it – a process known as a band fill. You will usually need to make several repeat visits to hospital for band adjustments.
You will need to make lifelong changes and follow a strict diet after the banding operation. Your dietitian or surgeon will give you more advice.
If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.