A gastric band is one of the options for weight loss surgery. It works by reducing the size of your stomach so that it will take less food to make you feel full. Your appetite won’t change after you have laparoscopic surgery to fit a gastric band, but the amount of food you can eat comfortably will be reduced.
Gastric Band Surgery
The gastric band is fitted using keyhole or laparoscopic surgery. During a gastric band procedure, the surgeon will usually make four or five small cuts, through which the gastric band can be fitted around your stomach. The band blocks off part of your stomach so that there is just a small pouch left above the band to fill with food when you eat.
The surgeon will also create an access port under your skin, which will be used to make adjustments to the gastric band as you start losing weight. You will be able to feel the port as a small hard object under your skin. The procedure usually takes about an hour.
Recovering from Gastric Band Surgery
You will need to have a general anaesthetic during the laparoscopic surgery, which will leave you feeling a little drowsy after the procedure. Some people are able to go home the same day, but you will need someone to pick you up and to look after you. In some cases, you will need to stay overnight, but you shouldn’t need more than one night in a hospital. However, it will usually take at least a week or two for you to recover fully from the procedure.
Gastric Band Adjustments
The gastric band may need to be adjusted as you start losing weight. This is done by inserting or removing sterile saline through the access port to increase or decrease the restriction on your stomach. You can usually have your adjustments as an outpatient and all you will feel is a small scratch from the needle used to add or remove saline. The adjustments can help you to lose weight by ensuring that the gastric band is having just the right effect.