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Tuesday 20 August 2019
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Bariatric Operations - Gastric Band

In this procedure the capacity of the stomach is made smaller by placing an inflatable silicone band around the upper part of the stomach to create a new small pouch, which can hold only a small amount of food. The band is connected by a tube to a small port that is placed under the skin of your abdomen. This port is accessed by a special needle in clinic (or radiology) and fluid is injected in to the port to inflate the band, adjusting the restriction it provides.

When adequately adjusted, the band slows down the passage of food from the pouch to the rest of the stomach, which will make you feel full faster and reduces food (and therefore calorie) consumption.

The weight loss achieved with the band is significant (on average 40-50% of the excess weight is lost over 12-24 months). Although you might feel full with a small meal, the band doesn’t reduce hunger fully and does not stop people from snacking or taking additional calories through sweets and high-calorie drinks such as alcohol. It is essential therefore that one should control these aspects of eating and drinking as well as exercise in order to achieve the desired result. Otherwise, 1-in-10 people could fail to achieve any substantial weight loss.


What are the risks of gastric banding?

Although this operation safe and effective, within 5 years approximately 1-in-10 people might need another operation to fix a problem such as:

  • Pouch dilatation: this happens in up to 8 out of 100 people, and requires the band to be either re-positioned or removed
  • Band erosion: this happens in 1 in 100 people, and requires the band to be removed and the hole in the stomach closed
  • Port or tube leaking: this could be replaced with a new piece
  • Port infection: this requires the port to be removed and a new port to be placed 3 months later
  • Severe acid reflux, and rarely oesophageal (gullet) dilatation: this requires the band to be fully deflated and preferably removed. It is not advisable to have a gastric band if you already suffer with severe acid reflux