What is the gastric band?
Gastric band is one the most popular weight loss surgeries. It is also one of the least invasive treatments with lowered risks and side effects. It is less invasive than other bariatric surgeries in terms that it is reversible and thus carries less complications. The gastric band is also known as the Lap-Band which is its trademark name.
There are many other gastric bands on the market with 3 generally used in the EU and in the UK: Swedish Band, Lap-band and the Mid-band. The Lap-band offers the greater range of infill from 4 ml to 14 ml.
Who are the best candidates for the gastric band?
Gastric banding is generally best suited to people who are overweight with a BMI (Body Mass Index) greater than 35, although in some case those with a BMI of between 30 and 35 may be suitable. The suitability of the patient will be determined at the time of the consultation by the surgeon.
Other important factors:
- You have been overweight for over five years.
- Your weight-loss attempts have had only short term success, for example “yo yo” dieting
- You are not suffering from any other disease that may have caused your weight gain.
- You are prepared to make a daily commitment and change in your eating habits and lifestyle.
- You are willing and eager to being monitored by the specialist treating you.
- You do not drink alcohol in excess.
- You do not smoke.
At the time of your consultation, you will be carefully assessed by the surgeon as each individual is different in anatomy and BMI are rough estimates not taking into account large bone and muscle mass.
How is the gastric banding surgery carried out?
The band is inserted through “keyhole surgery” also know as laparoscopic surgery. The operation takes usually 1 hour under a general anaesthetic. You will be required to stay one night at the hospital. “Keyhole surgery” is used to reduce scars and recovery time from surgery.
The main benefits of the gastric band
- Reversible – Even though it is reversible, the gastric band can be kept for a lifetime and is not affected by pregnancy. Once the band is removed the stomach returns to normal.
- Minimal Scarring – Keyhole surgery involves small incisions where the surgical instruments are past through.
- No cutting or stapling of the stomach
- Short hospital stay
- Quick recovery
- No nutrition deficiency due to malabsorption
- Overall less complications post surgery compared to other bariatric surgery