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Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery


What do I need to know about adjustable gastric band surgery?

Gastric banding is a type of weight loss surgery. An adjustable band is placed around the top part of your stomach. This divides the stomach into one small pouch and one large pouch. Food collects in the small pouch when you eat. You will feel full quickly because the pouch is very small. There is a small opening in the smaller pouch that allows food to pass into the larger pouch. Between meals, the food moves slowly into the larger pouch and is digested normally. Your healthcare provider can tighten or loosen the band as needed after the surgery.

How do I prepare for gastric band surgery?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You may be given an antibiotic through your IV to help prevent a bacterial infection.

What will happen during gastric band surgery?

You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your surgeon will make small incisions in your abdomen. He or she will place the gastric band around the top part of your stomach. The gastric band may be attached to stomach tissue to hold it in place. They may inject saline (salt water) into the gastric band, or they may leave the band empty. The incisions will be closed with stitches or medical tape.

Stomach opening can be tightened or loosened over time to change the size of the passage

What will happen after gastric band surgery?

  • You may need to walk around within 6 to 12 hours after surgery. This helps prevent blood clots. You will sip water or chew on ice chips after surgery when your health provider says it is okay. The next step is to drink clear liquids. Examples of clear liquids are broth, gelatin, and clear juice. You may only be able to eat a few teaspoons of food at the beginning. Stop eating when you feel full, even if you have food left on your plate.
  • As you begin to eat differently, you may begin to lose weight. Your weight loss will depend on how well you follow your diet and exercise plans. It may take 18 to 24 months to reach a healthy weight.

What are the risks of gastric band surgery?

  • You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your esophagus or other organs may be injured during surgery. The gastric band may slip out of place, break, or leak. The band may scar or erode (move) into the stomach tissue. You may need a larger incision than expected during laparoscopic surgery. After surgery, you may not lose any weight. You may lose weight and then gain it back.
  • If you often eat too much and do not follow instructions, you may stretch out your stomach pouch. If you eat too much, too fast, or do not chew well enough before you swallow, you may vomit. You may have abdominal pain, heartburn, or a stomach ulcer. Food that is not chewed well enough may get stuck in the opening between the small and large stomach pouches. You may get a blood clot in your arm or leg. This may become life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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