If you’re struggling to lose weight, you may want to consider a gastric band. This surgical procedure involves placing a band around the stomach, which reduces its size and makes you feel fuller faster.
However, surgery comes with its own risks and so it’s important that you fully understand the procedure and the likely results before you make such a life-changing decision.
In this article, we’ll provide you with some of the information that you need to know about gastric band surgery.
What is Gastric Band Surgery?
Gastric band surgery is one of the weight loss surgery options that is also known as Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB). The procedure involves placing an adjustable band around the stomach, which reduces its size so that you feel fuller more quickly and eat less food overall.
The band is then connected to a small device that is placed under the skin, which enables the band can be tightened after surgery. The first tightening is usually after 4-6 weeks and is completed by injecting a saltwater solution into the device via a needle passed through the skin.
It’s usually for there to be a few repetitions of this tightening process. to get the band set to the right level for you.
Who is Eligible for Gastric Band Surgery?
Gastric band surgery is usually only recommended for people who are obese (with a BMI of 30 or above) and have been unable to lose weight through other means, such as diet and exercise.
However, the decision about whether or not to have surgery is not always straightforward. Your surgeon will assess your individual case and may consider other factors, such as your age, overall health, and motivation levels.
What Are the Risks of Gastric Band Surgery?
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with gastric band surgery. These include:
• Infection at the surgical site
• Blood clots
• Nausea and vomiting
Care Post Surgery
After surgery, it’s essential to follow the care instructions provided by your surgeon. This will help to reduce the risk of complications and ensure that you heal properly.
You will need to stay in the hospital for a few days after the surgery so that your progress can be monitored. During this time, you’ll be given pain relief and antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
It’s normal for it to take a few weeks or even months to recover from surgery. However, most people report feeling better and seeing significant weight loss results within the first year.
What Will I Be able to Eat Post-surgery?
You will need to stick to a soft or pureed diet for the first few weeks after surgery. This is because your stomach needs time to heal. After this, you’ll be able to slowly introduce solid foods back into your diet.
However, it’s important to note that you will have to change the way that you eat for the rest of your life. This means eating smaller meals more often and avoiding high-fat and sugary foods. You’ll also need to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.
Making these changes can be difficult, but sticking with it is crucial to see long-term weight loss results.
How Much Weight Can I Lose with a Gastric Band?
Weight loss with a gastric band is usually gradual. Most people lose around 1-2 pounds (0.5-1 kg) per week in the first few months after surgery. After this, weight loss tends to level off.
On average, people lose 50-60% of their excess body weight within two years of surgery. However, this varies from person to person and depends on factors such as how well you stick to the recommended diet and exercise plan.
If you think gastric band surgery might be an option for you, then the next step is finding a surgeon. In some situations in the UK, you may be able to get weight loss surgery on the NHS; however, wait lists are long, and it may be at least 18 months before you get an appointment to meet with a consultant.
This then means that most people opt for private surgery. It’s important to meet with the consultant first, ask lots of questions, and only book the procedure if you feel completely confident.
Questions you might want to ask include –
- How much experience do you have with this type of surgery?
- What are the risks and complications associated with the procedure?
- How much weight can I expect to lose?
- What will my life be like after surgery?
You should expect the consultant to provide honest answers to your questions, and it should never seem like a sales pitch!
If you decide to go ahead with surgery, then your consultant will talk you through the different options available and help you to choose the right one for you. There are a few different types of gastric band surgery, so it’s important to select the one best suited to your individual case.
If you are struggling to lose weight, a gastric band may be a good option for you. However, it’s essential to understand the risks and commitment involved before making any decisions. Talk to your doctor or surgeon about whether this type of surgery is right for you.