Gastric band surgery is a weight-loss surgery which uses an inflatable silicone band to create a small gastric pouch in the stomach, slowing down food consumption and limiting food intake. The surgery is performed to help patients with weight-loss after non-surgical methods such as change of diet and regular exercise, have failed to produce results.
The procedure is generally only performed on patients who are morbidly obese, with a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or more. However, it may also be performed on patients who have a BMI of 35-40 who have health conditions which may threaten the patient's health when combined with obesity, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure or osteoarthritis.
Gastric band surgery is the most minimally invasive type of bariatric surgery, and it is most commonly performed laparoscopically. However, some patients may require the surgery to be performed as open surgery. The surgery can also be reversed, unlike other types of bariatric surgery.
The procedure involves surgically applying the inflatable band around a section of the stomach, creating a a small pouch in the upper stomach. The pouch is filled quickly when eating and this creates the sensation of being full, in turn, prohibiting the patient from eating large portions of food and allowing the body to steadily lose weight.
After around 6 weeks, the band can be filled with saline solution to increase the level of food restriction. Once the patient begins to steadily lose weight, the band can be continuously readjusted as required, using a saline solution.
Patients who have a BMI of 40 or higher and have failed to lose weight through change of diet or exercise
Patients with a BMI of 35-40 who also have health conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure or osteoarthritis
ABOUT GASTRIC BAND SURGERY
Number of days in hospital: 1 - 3 days
Average length of stay abroad: 2 weeks.
The doctor should ensure that the patients condition is stable enough to travel.
Number of trips abroad needed: 1.
Follow up visits may be needed to monitor progress and increase the restriction by filling the band with saline solution, however this can also be performed by a doctor at home
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Patients will need various tests ahead of surgery. Patients will have to follow a diet plan and the consulting doctor will advise the patient about discontinuing any medicines and prescriptions. Patients are likely to be advised to follow a physical activity program and to abstain from smoking.
The patient is administered a general anesthetic before the procedure begins. The surgeon creates several small incisions in the abdomen, in order to access the stomach. The gastric band is inserted and locked around the stomach, creating a small stomach pouch.
A small tube connects the gastric band to a device just beneath the surface of the skin. Through this, a saline solution can be inserted into the band to expand it, thus reducing the size of the stomach further over time.
The Gastric Band Surgery takes 30 to 60 minutes.
HOW IT IS PERFORMED
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BEFORE GASTRIC BAND SURGERY ABROAD
Post procedure care
It is common to experience some pain at the site of surgery, and patients will usually spend a day or 2 in hospital.
For the first 24 hours, patients will usually only be able to drink small amounts of liquid, and after that, solid food is slowly introduced. The doctor may recommend taking blood thinning medication and wearing compression stockings to reduce the risk of a blood clot. It is also recommended to walk around as soon as it is comfortable enough to do so.
Discomfort and soreness is normal for a few days after surgery.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER GASTRIC BAND SURGERY
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT GASTRIC BAND SURGERY
Not recommended for
Inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (eg. Crohn's disease)
Esophageal or gastric varices
Congenital anomalies of the digestive tract (ie, esophagus, stomach, duodenum, situs inversus, etc)
Severe eating disorders
Alcoholism or drug addiction,
Use of immunosuppressants,
Problems with general anesthetic,
Previous perforation near to the banding site.
Malpositioning of the band
Risks associated with anesthetic
Damage to internal organs
Deep vein thrombosis
In rare cases, surgical complications may lead to death
The gastric band can be inflated over time to further restrict food intake.
The small pouch means that people feel full very quickly, meaning they eat less and as a result lose weight.