What is a gastric band?
This is a surgical operation that is performed on the stomach, so that the amount of food going into the stomach is reduced, and a feeling of fullness happens as soon as the stomach has taken the minimum amount of food to keep the patient in good health.
Through a number of small holes made in the abdomen, a band, belt or sleeve is placed around the stomach, forming a small pouch at the top of the stomach. the band, made of silicon may be dilated or constricted so that the gap may be adjusted to allow more or less food to pass into the stomach. When food enters the pouch, a “full up” message is soon sent to the brain, and the patient has no desire to eat for a while.
This operation is very successful in many cases and has indeed saved many lives, but as with any major surgery there are of course risks. Many surgeons will only operate if the patient has a BMI of over 40.
Understanding the Risks
Recovering from the surgery – even without complications!
Full recovery from a gastric band operation can take two to three weeks, but usually a patient returns home the following day.
You will need to rest until the effects of the anaesthetic have passed. General anaesthesia can temporarily affect your coordination and reasoning skills, so you should not drive, drink alcohol, operate machinery or sign legal documents for 48 hours afterwards. You would need to contact your car insurer regarding your ability to drive, since you should not attempt to drive until you can comfortably make an emergency stop without discomfort, which may be up to 2 weeks after the operation….
You may need pain relief to help with any discomfort as the anaesthetic wears off. You may have a catheter to drain urine from your bladder into a bag. You may also have fine tubes running out from the wound. These drain fluid into another bag and are usually removed after a day or two. You may also be given fluids through a drip overnight.
On the first day, you may have to wear special pads, attached to an intermittent compression pump, on your lower legs. The pump inflates the pads and encourages healthy blood flow in your legs and helps to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT).You will be encouraged to get out of bed and move around as this helps prevent blood clots in your legs and chest infections. You may also have a further heparin injection to prevent blood clots.
For the first 24 hours you will only be allowed to drink clear fluids. After this the surgeon or dietician will start you on a liquid or pureed diet for the first few weeks.
You will need to follow a strict diet and make some lifestyle changes to get the best results from your operation. The dietician and surgeon will give you more advice about what you can and can’t eat or drink and what changes you need to make.
You will be advised about caring for your healing wounds before you go home. You will need to make several repeat visits to the hospital for band adjustments. Dissolvable stitches will disappear on their own in seven to 10 days. Non-dissolvable stitches are removed a week after surgery.
These are the unwanted, but mostly temporary effects of a successful treatment.
- Feeling sick as a result of the general anaesthetic.
- Some bruising, pain and swelling of the skin around the healing wounds.
- Feel or be sick after eating, especially if you try to eat too much.
- Your restricted diet may cause some shortage of nutrients so you may need to take multivitamin tablets.
This is when problems occur during or after the operation. The possible complications of any operation include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic, excessive bleeding or developing a blood clot, usually in a vein in the leg (DVT).
Complications specific to a gastric band operation are listed here.
- Infection – antibiotics are usually given during surgery to prevent infection. If an infection doesn’t respond to antibiotics your band may need to be removed.
- Damage to other organs in your abdomen – you may need further surgery to repair any damage.
- Band problems – your band may slip out of place, leak, or work its way through the stomach wall. If this happens, your band may need to be repositioned, removed or replaced. This may occur because there has been upward slippage (prolapse) of the wall of the stomach through the gastric band. It can also occur because of stretching of the stomach pouch so that more stomach sits above the gastric band than normal. Both types can occur in circumstances where the volume of food taken is too large or where it is eaten too quickly.
- Tubing/Port problems – The tubing connecting the access port to the gastric band around the stomach can occasionally break or be punctured by the needle when fluid is added to the system. However, these problems are unlikely to occur due to improvements in gastric band design. In one recent study of 1,014 patients only 12 (1.15%) experienced tubing/port problems….(unfortunate for those 12 though!!)
- Gallstones – there is a risk you may develop gallstones if you lose weight quickly. These can be painful and you may need surgery to remove them. Your surgeon may advise removing your gallbladder when you have your operation.
- Haemorrhage – Uncontrollable loss of blood. Internal bleeding.
- Adverse reactions to anesthesia and or medication
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clot in the legs)
- Pulmonary Embolus (blood clot on the lungs)
All of the above (except gallstones) are serious and potentially fatal complications, which could result in death.
American research has shown that 1 in 50 patients die within a month of the operation….
There is a chance the surgeon may need to convert your keyhole procedure to open surgery. This means making a bigger cut on your abdomen. This is only done if it’s impossible to complete the operation safely using the keyhole technique.
Around one in 10 people with a gastric band may need another gastric band operation in the future. It’s also possible you may fail to lose sufficient weight or regain weight you have lost. If this happens your surgeon may recommend you have gastric bypass surgery.
Is there an alternative?
We know that there is a strong link between the mind and the body and that hypnosis can strongly affect bodily functions such as altering blood pressure and blood flow. Now it has been discivered that a hypnotically imagined gastric band can be as effective as an actual gastric band.
Publicity in the last few years about the ‘hypno’ gastric band for weight loss has quadrupled. If you have a BMI over 30 you can also take advantage of our virtual gastric band system where we will use modern hypnotic techniques to replicate a real surgical gastric band with zero risk, and a fraction of the cost.
Hypnoslimmer Virtual Gastric band
The Hypnotic Gastric Band treatment results in your body believing that you have had the band fitted and you will feel full sooner. Superior to even the surgical gastric band surgery, the HypnoSlimmer weight control system also addresses your lifestyle, eating habits and the root cause of your overeating, raising the probability of long term success and a healthy body AND self-esteem.
Would you love to have ALL the benefits of a gastric band without ANY of the risks involved with the major surgery nor the huge financial burden?
For more information and a free consultation simply call Graham on 07810 877158 or email by clicking on this link.
This the link to the main Hypnoslimmer website, where you can find out everything you need to know about this revolutionary weight loss system and virtual gastric band. You can also search for a Hypnoslimmer consultant near you if you are not near Petersfield.