Is a lap band different to a gastric band?
Lap band is short for laparoscopic gastric band, so it’s just another name for a gastric band. If you’re not sure that a gastric band is for you but are interested in other types of weight-loss surgery, we also offer gastric sleeve and gastric bypass.
What happens during the operation?
A gastric band operation is performed under a general anaesthetic. You'll be asleep throughout the procedure. The band itself is fitted using a procedure known as laparoscopic surgery – but you'll probably know it better as 'keyhole' surgery.
Your surgeon will make small cuts or incisions in your stomach, before placing a thin telescope – a laparoscope – inside. This is fitted with a light and a camera so your surgeon can see what they are doing as they place your gastric band around your stomach.
The injection port is also stitched into place, just under your skin. With this, your surgeon will inflate or deflate the band. Finally, the small cuts made at the start of the gastric band surgery are then closed, normally with dissolvable stitches.
How long does gastric band surgery take?
The length of time it can take will vary from person to person, and can range from 30 minutes to up to two hours.
What is the gastric band recovery time after surgery?
As each person is different, so too is the length of gastric band recovery time. Typically, you’ll be able to leave the hospital a day after your surgery, but it's worth taking a week off work to give yourself time to rest after this.
We usually advise that you take it relatively easy during the first two weeks after surgery. You should then be able to resume your day-to-day activities and exercise regimes after six weeks.
Your dedicated and expert dietitian will advise you on food and liquid intake during your recovery time.
Will I need to stay in hospital?
In some cases, you may be able to go home on the same day as a gastric band operation. But it's normal to stay in hospital for one night after the procedure. Your surgeon will then talk you through your personalised care plan following your surgery.
Will I need time off work?
Time off work is often needed to aid your gastric band recovery time. We'll usually recommend that you take at least a week off. But this might vary from patient to patient, depending on the procedure that you have. Your surgeon will be able to advise exactly how much time you’ll need to rest after your surgery.
How does gastric band surgery work with pregnancy?
Pregnancy after gastric band surgery is perfectly safe. In 2014, a study called "Pregnancy after laparoscopic gastric banding: maternal and neonatal outcomes" concluded that it is safe to carry a child with a gastric band fitted.
Of course, your specialist dietitian will advise you on the best way to manage your pregnancy – both nutritionally and in terms of fluid in your band. We would advise waiting a year or so after gastric band surgery before getting pregnant, however.
Talk to your surgeon and local GP if you have any concerns, or you think you may be pregnant.
How important is diet after my gastric band is fitted?
The aim of a gastric band is to make you feel full after eating sooner than you generally would. As such, this can reduce the amount you actually eat and help you lose weight. But it can only be truly effective if you also make changes to your lifestyle after your operation.
This could mean changing your dietary habits and calorie intake. As gastric bands can only work effectively with solid foods, you'll need to take particular care with high-calorie drinks or fluids to see the weight loss you want to achieve.
It's also important to remember that your diet will be restricted while you recover from gastric or lap band surgery. Your dedicated and specialist dietitian will explain more about this as part of the aftercare we provide to our patients.
What's the typical weight loss following gastric band surgery?
Gastric bands can help you lose weight gradually. Any weight loss you experience will depend on how healthy your lifestyle is. You'll also need to follow your expert dietitian's advice to see the best results. According to third 2020 National Bariatric Surgery Registry Report, however, the average weight loss after one year is 39% of excess weight.
Can you drink alcohol after lap band surgery?
You can. But please remember that alcoholic drinks have a higher calorie count and will easily pass through a gastric band. So, it may affect the weight loss results you wish to achieve.
Yes – your gastric band can be removed if you want to reverse the procedure.
How often will I need an adjustment?
This varies from person to person. Sometimes, just having the band in place is enough to offer the desired benefits.
If an adjustment is needed, however, the first one takes place at least five weeks after gastric band surgery. It usually takes about 4-6 months, however, to reach a level where you're comfortably and consistently losing weight.
After the first modification, adjustments must be at least three weeks apart – if they’re needed. We advise patients to take their lead from our specialist dietitians when deciding if you need or want to adjust your band.
This can help you recognise how your own eating patterns and food choices activate the fluid in your band and how you can work with it.
How much does a gastric band operation cost?
We tailor our treatment plans in line with each patient's unique needs. For this reason, the cost of a gastric band operation may vary.
You can use our price check to find out how much it might cost. This first calculates your BMI to see if you're suitable for a weight loss procedure. Please note – this is only an estimated price. Your patient advisor can give you detailed pricing information during your consultation.
As well as our finance plans of up to five years, we also offer a 0% finance option. This lets you spread the cost over one year with no interest to pay. All finance options are subject to status – and are provided by Omni Capital Retail Finance Limited, who are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Gastric bands are made from silicone and contain three key components – a reinforcing band, tubing and balloon. The balloon is filled with saline fluid by the surgeon to an amount suited to each patient – which can vary from 0ml to 9ml. The reinforcing band is wrapped around the stomach to form a small pouch which reduces the amount of food that can fit in the stomach, aiding weight loss. The tubing connects the balloon and the injection port, which the surgeon uses to adjust the amount of fluid in the balloon.
What is gastric band surgery?
The gastric band procedure involves placing a silicone ring close to the top of your stomach. This stimulates the nerve endings and helps to make you feel satisfied on smaller portions of food. The gastric band is fully adjustable, and you will need band adjustments every so often to ensure it is optimal for you and your body. It is important to make lifestyle changes too in terms of healthy eating and regular activity to achieve the best possible results.