Gastric band surgery

A type of weight loss surgery that involves attaching an inflatable band around the top of your stomach.

About gastric band surgery

Gastric band surgery works by reducing the size of your stomach. It is a type of weight loss (bariatric) surgery.

An inflatable silicone ring is attached around the top of your stomach. It works by slowing down how quickly food moves into your stomach, making you feel full earlier during a meal.

It creates a small pouch with a narrow opening, or channel, to the rest of the stomach. The size of the pouch and the channel depends on how much the ring is inflated. The band is connected to a small port, just under the skin. This port allows the band to be adjusted in size.

Your surgeon may recommend this type of operation if you have a body mass index (BMI) over 30.

How is gastric band surgery carried out?

Gastric band surgery is done under general anaesthetic so you'll be asleep during the operation. The operation takes around 30 minutes and you can leave hospital the same day.

Your surgeon will use keyhole laparascopic surgery. This means they will make several small cuts in your abdomen, rather than one larger cut.

They will carry out the operation using small surgical instruments inserted through the cuts and use video images from a telescopic camera to guide them.

Your surgeon will place the band around the top part of your stomach. This creates the small above the band.

The band is connected by a fine tube to an injection port, which sits under the skin of the abdomen. Your surgeon will stitch this in place.

Your surgeon will close the cuts in using your abdomen using clips or dissolvable stitches.

After gastric band surgery

After surgery, you'll be given pain relief to help alleviate any discomfort.

You'll be encouraged to get up and start moving around, about four hours after surgery.

If the cuts in your abdomen have been closed with clips, these will need to be removed about one week after surgery.

On the day of surgery, you'll be able to start slowly sipping liquids, such as water, coffee, milk, soups, tea.

You'll usually be able to go home one to two days after the operation. You'll need to arrange for someone to take you home by car as you won't be able to drive or take public transport.

About four to six weeks after surgery, your surgeon will make the first adjustment to your gastric band if necessary. This will be done at a clinic appointment and is done by injecting saline solution into the band via the port.

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Published: 31 January 2020 | Review: 31 January 2023

Disclaimer: This information is published by Cromwell Hospital and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence and experience from over 30 years of treating patients. It has been peer reviewed by Cromwell Hospital doctors. The content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional. If you have any feedback on the content of this patient information document please email or telephone 020 7460 5901.