Gastric Band

What is it?

Gastric band drawnThe gastric band is a simple and safe weight loss surgery procedure which is used extensively world-wide.

What does the surgery involve?

The band is a small silastic (soft plastic) collar that is placed around the top part of the stomach.  It is attached by a thin cable to a small injection port that lies under the skin.  It can be felt there like the end of a rib but is not visible.  The device is positioned by keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery under general anaesthetic.  The operation usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour.  Most patients will be in hospital for the day or overnight.

How well will I do?

After a few weeks the band can be inflated by injecting small amounts of fluid into the port, through the skin.  This can either be done by hand or using an x-ray device.  As the band tightens patients will start to experience a sensation of fullness and are only able to eat smaller portions.  Once this has been achieved they should experience a slow, and persistent weight loss.  If the band is too tight, patients will have increasing difficulty eating “normal” food and may develop heartburn and regurgitation, particularly at night.  if this is experienced then they should seek deflation of the band.  The average patient will lose about 20% of their overall weight by 2 years, with a gastric band.  Recent studies have suggested excellent short and medium term outcomes for the management of type 2 diabetes.

 

Challenges of the band are that patients may begin to eat softer, more easily digested food, which is often higher calorie.  This can result in poorer long-term outcomes.  Also, as a device is used there are potential mechanical problems.  Getting the band “restriction” just right (not too tight or slack) may help prevent these problems.

What is my recovery like?

Patients would be expected to remain in hospital for 1 or 2 nights.  There will be structured dietary advice and a liquid diet for the first weeks.  Most patients will usually return to desk jobs in about 4 weeks and more active work at 6 to 8 weeks.  Often patients take 2 or 3 weeks until they feel able to drive again, as guided by DVLC advice.  The first band fills are in 4 weeks after surgery

Packages and prices

Gastric band packages are offered in partnership with BMI Healthcare.  The BMI Healthcare website should be consulted for any price or package changes and the following is a description at the time of writing only.  The package price includes consultation with the dietitian and surgeon, pre-assessment and anaesthetic assessment, the procedure and associated hospital stay, the management of any problems in the first 30 days after the procedure, regular consultations with the dietitian and surgeon after the procedure and up to 3 x-ray (radiological) gastric band adjustments.  The follow up package lasts for one year.

  1. Initial BMI Healthcare Bariatric Enquiry Centre appointment with dietitian £50
  2. Psychology assessment £220
  3. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band package (BMI <50kg/m2) from £6,995
  4. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band package (BMI >50kg/m2) from £7,995
  5. Additional gastric band adjustments £100 each
  6. Gastric band annual follow-up package (inserted by BMI Healthcare) £500/year
  7. Gastric band annual follow-up package (not inserted by BMI) £750/year