Gastric Banding

This page will provide you with information about gastric banding. For further details, you should speak to your consultant.

What is gastric banding?

This procedure – also known as lap banding – works by making the patient feel full after eating only a small amount of food but reducing the volume of food held in the stomach. This means the patient with a gastric band eats less and thus loses weight.

Why choose a gastric band?

Being overweight or obese can lead to a number of health complications; gastric banding is an effective method of managing weight loss and reducing weight-related health issues. You may wish to consider a gastric band if you are:

  • Morbidly obese (have an BMI of 40+)
  • Have a BMI of 30-40 and another serious health issue, such as high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes
  • Unable to lose a significant amount of weight through diet and exercise

What are the benefits to gastric banding?

Alongside the expected weight loss patients will see a reduction in the health risks associated with obesity. Other benefits commonly reported include:

  • Better health
  • More mobility
  • Better mental health
  • Significant weight loss
  • Better attitude to healthy eating
  • Higher levels of self-confidence and self-esteem

How does gastric banding work?

Your surgeon will place a flexible band around your stomach, separating it into two sections; there will be a small opening between the two which allows food to slowly pass between the first into the second compartment. As this creates a small section for food to sit it, the patient will experience the sensation of being full even after eating just a small amount of food. The food will continue through the rest of the digestive system once it has passed into the second stomach compartment. As stated the band is flexible, allowing your consultant to change it depending on how much weight you are losing and the speed of the loss. To tighten the band fluid is often injected; this is called a band fill.

How long will it take to heal?

Most people will need to stay in hospital for one night, but it is possible to return home the same day after a gastric band procedure.