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Gastric Band | Healthier Weight

Gastric Band

Erin lost weight with a gastric band

"My gastric band is the best investment I ever made*"

Find out if you're eligible for finance  

Proven weight loss results

Gastric band diagram
The safest weight loss surgery procedure, gastric banding, known as laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) or lap-banding is the first choice for most people with 20 years of proven results.

The first gastric band surgery was performed by Dr Lubomyr Kuzmak in 1986 and the second ever gastric band was implanted by Healthier Weight surgeon Professor Favretti in 1993. Prof. Favretti went on to develop the laparoscopic band insertion technique used by surgeons across the world today. Read more about the history of the gastric band

As a guide, a gastric band could be suitable for you if have a body mass index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or more and have not been able to manage your weight through diet and exercise alone.

How does a gastric band work?

The gastric band device is surgically implanted around the stomach and prevents overeating by restricting the capacity of the stomach to about the size of a golf ball.

The food you eat is squeezed through the gastric band and the vagal nerves are stimulated, sending the signal to your brain that you are no longer hungry, much sooner and after eating much less than usual.

A gastric band helps you to lose weight by decreasing the amount of food you can eat before you feel full. This decrease in food consumption and daily calorie intake results in a loss of excess weight over time. 


How much weight will I lose with a gastric band?

Gastric band weight loss results can vary and will depend on how well you follow the rules for band success; to eat slowly, to eat foods of the right texture and to cut out high calorie soft foods and drinks. As a guide, you can expect to lose 50-60% of your excess weight over the first 2 years although many patients go on to lose all of their excess weight (see before and after photos). Here's an example of the weight loss results you could expect*:

  • Your height:  5ft 6in       
  • Your weight: 17st (240 lbs)        
  • Your ideal weight: 11st (154lbs) 
  • Your excess weight: 86lbs (actual weight 240lbs - ideal weight 154lbs)
  • Your weight loss: 50lbs (60% of 86lbs excess weight)


  

Short term gastric band result: A December 2013 review of our last 101 gastric band patients showed that at their first band adjustment 5 weeks after surgery, their average weight loss was 1st 8lbs (8.6% of starting weight). That's before their band had even been adjusted!* You can expect to lose more weight with Healthier Weight because we're weight loss specialists. Our whole team is dedicated to your success and our expertise in medical care, behavioural support and nutritional advice directly shows in your results.

Long term gastric band result: Healthier Weight is proud to have published our gastric band outcomes in numerous publications over our 13 year history, including the largest UK study of gastric bands for private patients. It's important to ask whether your provider publishes their results and we recommend you ask to see their data to ensure that the expected outcomes they quote are true for that provider, not based on average results achieved elsewhere.

What about 10+ years from now? Since the first laparoscopic gastric band procedure in 1993, evidence shows lasting weight loss for most people and the device itself does not degrade in any significant way. This is especially true of the latest generation of devices. Although we don't yet have studies showing what happens to gastric bands after 30 or 40 years, we have no reason to doubt that the lap band will function perfectly well for decades.

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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits differ for each individual. Results cannot be guaranteed
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The operation

The gastric band operation is performed laparoscopically (also known as key-hole surgery) under general anesthetic. 3-5 small incisions are made in the abdomen through which the surgeon passes the surgical instruments. The band is then placed around the upper part of the stomach (approximately 2cm below where the oesophagus joins the stomach). Gastric band surgery does not involve any cutting of the stomach or the bowel so the process is fully reversible if you ever wanted to have the band removed at a later date.

The operation takes just 45 minutes and patients usually return home on the same day. Following gastric band surgery, you should spend the first few days resting at home, with light work usually possible after that. However, this does vary, and we recommend that patients plan on possibly needing a full week to recover after surgery. Read more about the gastric band operation

What scars am I likely to have after a gastric band?

A standard gastric band procedure will leave 5 small scars; four scars approximately 1cm long, and one scar approximately 3-4cm long. These incisions are sutured and/or glued and the wounds normally heal within 10-14 days. The scars that remain will tend to fade gradually over time.

You can also choose to have a “scarless” gastric band via single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS.) This revolutionary procedure was developed by Professor Favretti and is exclusive to Healthier Weight. A SILS procedure isn't always possible and a bariatric consultant will assess your eligibility based on previous abdominal surgery and other factors but if SILS is a possibility, the band is placed through one main incision in the navel (belly/tummy button) for a result that leaves no visible scar.

Operative complications

As with any surgery, there are potential operative complications and risks associated with laparoscopic gastric band surgery but in the hands of a specialist bariatric surgeon, these risks are very low. Operative risks include:

  • Hemorrhage / bleeding
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia and/or medication
  • Blood clots - Deep vein thrombosis (legs), Pulmonary embolus (lungs)
  • Infection / death


Short term side effects (up to 7 days after surgery): Most patients say side effects are short lived after gastric band surgery and we can give you advice and tips on how to manage any discomfort. Taking peppermint tea and arm/shoulder exercises help:

  • Shoulder pain, chest pain and/or pain behind the breastbone
  • Breathlessness
  • Wound pain, redness, bruising or swelling
  • Retching

Long term complication: Post-op complication rates for gastric banding are low, but even in the best weight loss clinics they happen from time to time, so any provider that does not explain the possibility of complications is not giving you the full story. 

  • Retching / vomiting
  • Band slippage
  • Band erosion
  • Port or tubing leaks

Your gastric band will be put under a certain amount of strain throughout its life and there will inevitably be wear and tear. Studies suggest that in the lifetime of a band, 5-10% of patients will require further surgery. With the Healthier Weight surgical warranty, you have peace of mind that if you do experience a complication that requires corrective surgery, we will cover the costs for up to 5 years after surgery.

Finance plans

What does gastric band surgery cost? 

Gastric band finance packages available from £99 per month

Success rate 

The gastric band is an incredibly powerful tool in helping people lose weight and in general, we expect gastric band patients to lose 50-60% of their excess weight over 2 years*. The majority is lost in the first year and we know that getting off to a good start is important for your long term success rate. A review of our gastric bands patients showed that at their first band adjustment just 5 weeks after their procedure, the average weight loss was 1 stone 8lbs (8.6% of starting weight)*. That's before their band had even been filled!

It is of course possible to be unsuccessful with a gastric band and patients that don’t achieve good weight loss results are usually those who have been unable or unwilling to adapt their diet. It's important to remember that even with a gastric band, you will still need to make changes to your diet, limiting your intake of foods and drinks that are high in calories such as: ice cream, chocolate, sweets, alcohol, and sugary drinks.

National statistics suggest that around 10-15% of band patients will fail to lose the weight they expected but this should not be the case if you are prepared to follow the golden rules for success. We are weight loss specialists and with our team dedicated to your success, providing expert support, nutritional advice and medical care, you can expect to lose more weight as a Healthier Weight patient*. View some of our gastric band before and after photos here.

Lisa after her gastric band

"I'm now doing a course that I love, studying from home. Now I have the confidence to achieve my dream career"
 

Lisa wears size 10 clothing again after a gastric band procedure with Healthier Weight*.

Gastric band success story - Helen's after photo
       
"I still get a surprise when I catch sight of myself in a mirror, or window, and see a slim person looking back at me."

    

Helen lost 5 stones in 15 months with a band, and has maintained her weight since 2009*.

Gastric band review - Frank afterwards

"I have got back to my normal self again. I can sit down comfortably and can buy clothes off the peg again."
 

Father of 3 Frank lost 11 stones and now enjoys a more active and healthier lifestyle*.

Gastric band stories - Victoria after surgery

"My confidence is back and I have so many more options now. I can have children, which was just a dream before"
 

After losing 14 stones and relieving symptoms of PCOS, Victoria can now start a family*.

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Specialist Aftercare

Dedicated team of weight loss professionals

Gastric band aftercare with the UK's weight loss surgery specialists

Whether you see good results and value for money from your gastric band will depend on the quality of your aftercare and so the expertise and experience of your band provider. We’re weight loss surgery specialists which is why our gastric band patients see results in line with the best weight loss clinics in the world. Our competitively priced band package includes:

  • 2 year "No quibble" warranty to cover the costs of revisional surgery. Option to upgrade to 5 years
  • 2 year unlimited gastric band adjustments by a highly experienced medical team (including one adjustment under X-Ray)
  • 2 year medical support from nursing team including scheduled pre and post-operative calls and clinic review appointments
  • Lifelong support and advice by telephone
  • FREE Pre and Post-operative diet (value of £157.41) for the best weight loss results (included with 5 year upgrade package)
  • Highly experienced bariatric surgeons, e.g. Prof Favretti has performed over 10,000 procedures
  • Procedure and overnight accommodation (where required) in one of our prestigious private hospitals
  • Access to regular appointments at any of our nationwide clinics
  • Comprehensive post-op handbook with information on what to expect and advice on post-op nutrition, physical activity and vitamins
  • Online videos with advice and tips for success
  • Private support forum to share experiences with other patients
  • Emergency helpline
  • Gastric band identification card to keep in your purse / wallet

The price of your gastric band will depend on your choice of surgeon and hospital and your BMI. Complete a fast quote form (right) for a personal quote. We also offer finance packages to help you spread the cost of your gastric band over 1 to 5 years. This includes the option of deferring up to £2000 of your procedure cost into 12 monthly interest free installments.


Gastric band adjustments

When the band is implanted, it will be completely empty of any fluid and will only be providing a very small amount of restriction around the stomach. Approximately 5 weeks after surgery, you can begin the process of having your band adjusted to control hunger, your food consumption and ultimately your weight loss.

A band fill / adjustment is when the level of restriction that the band exerts on the stomach is adjusted by injecting (also known as filling / inflating) the gastric band with a sterile saline solution to make the band tighter (narrowing the stomach and increasing restriction) or by removing existing saline to loosen the band (widening the stomach and reducing restriction). See the effect of three different fill volumes in the images below.

Adjustments are possible without the need for any additional surgery because the gastric band is connected via a tube to an access port placed just under the skin during the initial surgery. Gastric band adjustments are made with a syringe / needle and for a highly skilled technician, adjusting the band is a quick and easy process, taking only a few minutes and is virtually pain-free. Adjusting the band to its optimum aperture size is a skill and is key to achieving good weight loss results. It’s important, therefore to ensure that your gastric band provider is experienced in providing this essential aftercare to avoid the complications caused by excessive tightening or inaccurate adjustment technique. Our specialist bariatric nurses are all extensively trained and highly experienced in adjusting bands to help you lose weight quickly and safely.
Stages of band adjustment
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Common questions about the gastric band

Are gastric bands safe? Yes. The gastric band is the safest form of weight loss surgery with the lowest chance of serious complications and a proven safety record spanning over 20 years. It involves no permanent change to your body and can be fully reversed at a later date if required.

Do you feel hungry with a gastric band? A gastric band doesn’t just physically restrict the amount of food that you can consume, it also creates greater nerve stimulation on the restricted part of your stomach, this sends a message to your brain that you’re full. With a gastric band in place you should feel just as full from eating smaller portions. Band adjustments may help you to achieve this if that’s not the case.

What do you eat with a gastric band? For the first two weeks after surgery, you will follow a liquids only diet as this helps the stomach to recover. Minimising the chances of retching or vomiting will in turn minimise your risk of post-operative complications. The typical diet during this liquids only stage tends to consist of shakes, soups and runny porridge. For weeks three and four, you will move onto soft or pureed food, and from the fifth week onwards you will return to solid foods but in smaller portions. Some gastric band patients say that certain foods such as bread are best avoided as they can cause discomfort. Taking smaller mouthfuls (morsels the size of a 50p coin), eating slower, and chewing food more thoroughly will help the passage of food through the band and minimise any discomfort or the chance of the food getting "stuck".

Can you drink alcohol with a gastric band? Yes, however, please be aware that alcoholic drinks have a high calorie content, and they will pass easily through your band without any restriction. This will inevitably slow down your rate of weight loss, or even cause you to gain weight.

How soon after gastric band surgery can you drive? Following gastric band surgery, you will need to wait 72 hours before you can drive. We also recommend checking with your motor insurance company regarding their policy about driving after a general anesthetic.

What physical activity should I do? Regular physical exercise is important if you want to get the best possible weight loss results from your gastric band and there is no type of physical activity that should be excluded. We recommend walking as the best exercise to start with as you can gradually build up your steps, aiming to walk about 10,000 steps per day. As you become fitter and more mobile, you may wish to try more strenuous forms of physical activity.

Do I have to take vitamins with a gastric band? The risk of vitamin deficiency after gastric band surgery is a lot lower than with other weight loss procedures so vitamin tablets/supplements are not essential, however, for your long term health we do still recommend taking vitamins daily.

What happens if I get pregnant? A gastric band does not interfere with pregnancy, so it’s fine to give birth with it in place. We will aspirate (empty) your band as soon as you find out you are pregnant and it can be re-adjusted as soon as you give birth and/or finish breast-feeding your baby. In fact, fertility tends to increase as you lose weight so the likelihood of becoming pregnant after gastric band surgery is often greater.

How long does a gastric band last / can you have a gastric band removed? The band is designed to stay in for life and we do not expect to remove it. If, however, you require your band to be removed by choice or as a result of a complication, it can be removed relatively easily. As the implantation procedure did not involve cutting of the bowel or stomach, band removal leaves a fully restored stomach and digestive system.

How does a gastric band compare with other weight loss operations? The weight loss results with a gastric band are not as high as the gastric bypass or gastric sleeve. Gastric banding will also require you to make more changes to your lifestyle and eating habits. However, gastric banding carries less risk and is the only procedure that does not involve any cutting or stapling of the stomach, is fully reversible and can be adjusted without the need for further surgical intervention. In terms of price, gastric band surgery tends to cost considerably less than the other obesity surgery procedures. For more information on which procedure is likely to be the most suitable for you, use our procedure selector tool.

Where can I have gastric band surgery?
We currently perform gastric band surgery at a number of private hospitals across the UK including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Southampton.  For more information on our clinics and how to find us; find your nearest clinic


Want to find out more about the gastric band? Read our frequently asked questions

Call our specialist team today on 0800 313 4618 or Make an enquiry

For prices and finance options, complete a fast quote or call 0800 313 4618

*Weight loss surgery results and benefits differ for each individual. Results cannot be guaranteed

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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for each individual. As such, Healthier Weight cannot guarantee specific weight loss goals.