Gastric band adjustments

Gastric band adjustments: what you need to know

Gastric band surgery could be an option for you if you have struggled to lose and maintain weight loss through diet and exercise alone. During the procedure, a silicone band is placed around the very top of the stomach, triggering nerve endings that reduce appetite so that you feel satisfied with smaller portions. 

We know that every patient in our care has different aspirations and needs and so, after gastric band surgery, your band will need adjusting to achieve the level of control that is just right for you. The first gastric band adjustment is usually made five weeks after the original surgery. The adjustment will involve either adding or removing saline fluid from the band in a short, nurse or dietitian-led procedure. No downtime is required after a band adjustment. 

Further band adjustments may be made after this, depending on the stage you are at in your weight loss journey. However, typically around three to five further adjustments are necessary over the first six to twelve months to achieve an optimum level of control and ensure that the band is working to the best of its ability. To determine whether you need a gastric band adjustment, get in touch with our weight loss support team today. 

Why are gastric band adjustments needed?

Ideally, a gastric band should help you to feel fuller for longer with smaller meals. It should also help you lose weight at a steady rate of about 1 to 2 lbs per week. Once you have reached a healthy weight, your gastric band can help you maintain it. 

Your gastric band may need tightening to work more efficiently if you’re still feeling hungry and eating large portions. And if you’re experiencing reflux heartburn, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation or a night cough, these could be signs that your gastric band is too tight and should be adjusted to a looser fit. 

If you’re not satisfied with your weight loss following gastric band surgery or feel uncomfortable in any way, speak to a member of our friendly team. We’ll arrange a full clinical assessment with a bariatric dietitian or nurse who will evaluate your hunger levels, dietary intake, portion size, weight loss or gain, and other factors, in order to determine whether your gastric band needs filling or aspirating, and to what level. 

How are gastric band adjustments performed?

Gastric band adjustments are simple procedures which are carried out by our fully qualified nurses and expert specialist dietitians. 

Your first gastric band fill will take place around five weeks after weight loss surgery, and is usually followed by several more adjustments over the course of the first year until an optimum level of pressure is achieved. Following this, occasional adjustments may still be required as you continue to lose weight. 

To adjust it, a nurse or dietitian locates the port of the gastric band by feeling through the skin and will then clean the area. A needle is inserted through the skin and into the port, and saline is either added or removed to increase or decrease the level of pressure created by the gastric band. 

Gastric band fills are minimally invasive, lasting about 15 minutes, and you should be able to resume your day-to-day life immediately afterwards. If your rate of weight loss is still not optimal following an adjustment, the procedure can be carried out again a few weeks later. 

After each adjustment, it is usually required to return to a fluid diet for 1-2 days followed by a soft diet for 1-2 days before progressing back onto solid food. 

Who performs gastric band adjustments?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do, and so the decision to adjust your gastric band is only made after a thorough clinical assessment to establish whether a fill (addition of fluid) or aspiration (removal of fluid) is the best option for you. 

All our bariatric dietitians and nurses are experts in caring for weight loss surgery patients. Fully qualified and registered, our professional staff are specialists in delivering exceptional care, both before and after weight loss surgery. 

Find out more by speaking to one of our team today. We can give you all the information you’ll need regarding gastric band adjustments. 

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Gastric band adjustments


Why do I need my gastric band adjusting?
The gastric band is designed to be adjustable to allow an optimal level of restriction. This allows it to be inflated or deflated as required, helping you to find the right level of control for your individual weight loss journey.
Who will adjust my gastric band?
Your adjustments will be made by one of our fully qualified bariatric nurses or one of our expert dietitians, all of whom are fully proficient in performing gastric band adjustments.
How much does a gastric band adjustment cost?
Depending on whether you choose a bronze, silver or gold gastric band package, you will have access to 12-32 band adjustments (where clinically indicated) within your aftercare period. Once your aftercare comes to an end, you can purchase single band adjustments or additional gastric band packages.
Will I need to stay in hospital?
No, your gastric band adjustments will take place at your local clinic.
Will I need time off work?
No, your gastric band adjustments are straightforward. The area may be slightly tender for a short time after treatment, but not so much that it will require you to take tire time off work.
Do I need any aftercare?
Your nurse or dietitian will provide specialist advice about your post-band adjustment diet following your adjustment. This typically means going back to fluids for 1-2 days, then progressing to a soft diet before going back onto textures, so that any swelling is allowed to settle. Your specialist will discuss this with you at your appointment.
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