07 January 2021

Section 5b: Before surgery - other information

Things to consider


  • See your GP before your surgery to arrange your medications in an alternative form (such as liquid, dispersable, dissolvable) for the first 4 weeks after surgery. You should be able to take tablets smaller than a sweetener in size during this time.
  • After surgery, it’s likely that you will need to rest for at least 7 days. Therefore, if you work, you will need at least 1 week’s leave.
  • After surgery, you should remain within the UK for at least 10 days.
  • Your procedure requires a general anaesthetic, and so it is likely you will need to stay overnight in hospital. If you have children, you will need to make suitable arrangements for them to be looked after by your partner or another responsible adult.
  • If you smoke or vape, it isn’t necessary to stop before surgery. However, stopping or using nicotine-free alternatives 4 weeks prior to surgery and postoperatively will help to improve the healing process.
  • Immediately after surgery, you must not lift/push/pull heavy objects. If you have small children, you will need to ensure that you have the help and support of friends and family whilst you are recovering. Do not take part in any strenuous activity for the first 4-6 weeks after your gastric band surgery.
  • You must notify us if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms, commence antibiotics prior to surgery, or if there is any change to your medical history. If you are ill, we may need to postpone your procedure.
  • If you are having your operation at Burcot Hall Hospital, a member of the hospital team will contact you by telephone 48 hours before your procedure to advise you of your admission time. Please note that this will usually be at least 4 hours prior to the expected time of surgery, so that we can perform blood tests before your procedure can proceed.
  • Any outstanding balance will need to be paid 21 days before your surgery is carried out. Please ensure you have the necessary funds in place to do this, as last minute delays can result in your operation being postponed or even cancelled.
  • You must arrange for a suitable person to take you home the morning after surgery. Failure to do this may result in your operation being postponed or cancelled, as under no circumstances can you drive yourself home after your gastric band surgery. You must have someone with you for the first 24 hours after your procedure.


Our transport service:


As you won’t be able to drive after surgery, The Hospital Group offers a transport service (at additional charge). This is a popular option, removing the need to ask a friend or family member to help and giving you one less thing to plan. Please ask your Patient Advisor for further details.


Preparing for your operation


Four weeks before your operation:

  • If you are taking HRT or the combined contraceptive pill, you must stop taking it at this point, as the oestrogen they contain can increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These can be recommenced immediately after surgery, unless otherwise advised. Please use other methods of contraception during this time.


Two weeks before your operation:

  • You should stop drinking alcohol and taking any vitamin E tablets (a general multivitamin & mineral supplement is fine, as discussed in Section 5a). These products dilate the blood vessels and could increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.
  • You must be clear of antibiotics for at least 2 weeks before your operation.


What should I pack for my hospital stay?

  • Medication – including inhalers if you use any
  • Toiletries
  • Front fastening nightwear
  • Front fastening comfortable clothes
  • Comfortable footwear
  • Entertainment e.g. book/magazine, iPad/tablet


Important information


All surgery carries an element of risk. Weight loss surgery procedures may be voluntarily undertaken, but that does not mean that complications will not happen.


We have listed the risks and potential complications associated with your procedure in Risks of surgery / potential complications and side effects and during the consultation process, your consulting practitioner and surgeon will discuss them in greater detail.


Below are three key points which are important in regard to your operation:


  1. Your medical history

You must provide us with every aspect of your medical history in order for us to assess you safely. If you withhold any relevant information, then you are potentially placing your own well-being at risk and your surgery may be cancelled.


  1. Pre-operative screening

Following on from your consultation, some pre-operative tests and screening will be undertaken to help reduce post-operative risks and promote a good recovery. If you are having your operation at Burcot Hall Hospital, your local clinic nurse will contact you to go through the pre-operative screening process and coordinate any tests that might be required. Some preoperative tests are routine and will be covered in the fixed price package. However, additional costs may be necessary if the surgeon requires further tests. You may need to provide blood pressure and pulse readings along with any recent blood test results.  


If you are having your operation at an ‘external’ hospital (i.e. not Burcot Hall Hospital), the nursing team at the hospital will contact you separately.  


If you take anticoagulant therapy, such as clopidogrel or aspirin, you will need to discuss with your nurse at the preoperative assessment the possibility of stopping this before the surgery. You must also discuss this with your GP.


  1. The role of your GP

You must be registered with a GP. In some cases prior to and after surgery, it may be essential for the surgeon or clinic nurse to contact your GP, or any other relevant specialist that you have previously seen, for further information. We reserve the right to contact your GP at any time should the surgeon or nurse feel that this is necessary. In the case of an emergency, we would contact your GP.


On the day of surgery


You must not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure. It is essential to adhere to this – failure to do so could result in your surgery being cancelled, as it is potentially harmful.


Other steps to safely prepare you for the anaesthetic and surgery are:

  • Jewellery including body piercings must be removed (wedding rings may be covered with tape)
  • Make up, nail varnish and artificial nails must be removed so that nursing staff can accurately assess your skin colour whilst you are under anaesthetic
  • Contact lenses, glasses, hearing aids, crowns and dentures must be removed where applicable
  • Hair extensions must be removed


The nurses have several necessary tasks to perform in the period prior to your operation. They will formally admit you to the hospital, take your blood pressure, pulse and temperature, and measure your height and weight. They will ask you to take a shower before putting on a gown. You will be able to use your own soap or shower gel. You should not use any perfume,

talcum powder or body lotion after you have washed, as these products can interact with the antiseptic used in theatre. You will then be asking to put on anti-embolism stockings.


Your surgeon and anaesthetist will also see you. You may have further questions that you might wish to ask, and you will also be required read and sign a consent form. It is important that you are relatively settled prior to going into theatre. Our aim is to ensure that your wait is not too long,  but as with any surgical hospital, delays can occur for any number of reasons. Emergencies may be admitted from time to time.


Rarely, and only when it is completely unavoidable, you may be kept waiting for some hours. If this happens, please feel free to enquire as to the reason, and ask the nursing staff whether you are able to have a drink of water or other clear fluids. We will always endeavour to keep you informed of any changes or delays to your operating time.  


The procedure takes approximately 1 hour in theatre, and usually requires an overnight stay.




You will usually be discharged the morning after your surgery. You will only be discharged when you are deemed fit, your observations are stable, and you are tolerating fluids comfortably. You will be given liquid paracetamol to take home to help manage any pain. You also need to have somebody to accompany you on your journey home.


You will be given a discharge summary that you must take to your GP.


Two to four days after surgery, you will receive a call from one of the nurses from the outpatient nursing team. Please see Follow-up and General Guidelines for Life with a Band for more information on follow-up. If you have any concerns, please contact our Weight Loss Surgery Support team – link to contact numbers.





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