Step 1 – Choose your clinic carefully
Make sure you choose a gastric band provider that specialises in weight loss, and specifically in gastric bands. The gastric band procedure is very different to the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass. It requires a higher level of post-operative support to help you get the most from your band. A provider that specialises in gastric bands is the right place to start!
Step 2 – Gather as much information as you can
You will be provided with a lot of information, by telephone, email and online, and it’s worth talking the time to read this thoroughly. Not only will you learn more about the procedure but it will equip you to ask the right questions when you meet your surgeon. Our advice is to request a written quotation and then call the provider to get the information you need. The key to your success will be the quality of the aftercare you receive so make sure that the aftercare package (including diagnostic x-ray if needed) and warranty is watertight.
Step 3 – Select a surgeon who is specialises in gastric band surgery
Ideally you want to have your procedure with a surgeon who does more than 50 gastric bands per year. You’ll be surprised at how few surgeons do this many cases. You may find a surgeon does many more sleeves and bypasses than they do bands. The band is a procedure that needs technical precision to reduce the risk of complication during and after surgery. Ask how many bands your surgeon does.
Step 4 – Prepare for your consultation with the surgeon
Read the materials you have been provided with and make a list of the questions you want to ask. Your face to face consultation with the surgeon is a key step in your journey and it’s the best time to get all the answers you need.
Step 5 – Follow the pre-operative diet carefully
Usually this will only be necessary for 7 days before surgery. When you do this, your liver shrinks and it makes the surgeons task of placing the band much easier. Put simply, follow the pre-operative diet and your risk of a complication reduces.
Step 6 – Make a plan
Make a plan for how you will change your diet, eating habits and exercise regime after your surgery. Think about what you eat today and what you will stop, continue and change. Also, think about how you can slow down your eating and reduce your portion sizes. Lastly, think about how you can change your exercise habits to use up more calories every day. This might simply be from spending a little more time every day on your feet. In summary, you need to make sure you eat the right textures, slowly and avoid high calorie soft, sloppy food and drinks.
Step 7 – Follow the post-operative diet carefully
After your surgery, follow the post-operative diet carefully. You’ll need to do this for 4 weeks. It’s important because it allows the band to settle around the stomach and it reduces the risk of a slippage or complication later on..
Step 8 – Follow your plan carefully
Follow the plan you made for yourself before your operation carefully. Make sure you are eating the right food textures slowly.
Step 9 – follow the guidance from your nurse
Attend band adjustment appointments and follow the guidance of your band adjustment nurse. You should need between 3-5 adjustments to get your band to the optimal restriction to give you steady weight loss.
Step 10 – listen to your body
Lastly, listen carefully to your body and if something feels wrong, call your provider. Make sure they have an emergency help line and that their aftercare package includes clinic reviews and a diagnostic x-ray if it is needed.
Is the gastric band right for you?
If you’re looking to lose weight it’s important to research what options are out there. Ask yourself first, is the gastric band the right weight loss procedure for you? If you agree to the four statements below then speak to an adviser at Healthier Weight to learn more about the gastric band.
- I will have surgery to lose this weight
- My body-mass index is over 30
- I’m tired of dieting, it’s not worked for me
- I’m looking to get to a healthy BMI
About Healthier Weight
Healthier Weight is the UK’s largest specialist weight loss surgery provider. It has published extensively on gastric banding and has done more gastric band procedures than any other company doing weight loss surgery in the UK today.