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What is Gastric Band surgery, and are you a candidate?

Gastric Band surgery was once the popular choice for weight loss surgery. However, long-term evidence now shows that it is generally considered outdated. Insertion of a gastric band is now uncommon as there are more effective options available.

While the procedure is safe to perform, it presents ongoing challenges for patients. Many report poor quality of eating, frequent nausea, and the need for constant surgical adjustments.

It’s common for patients to experience vomiting of undigested food and to favour less nourishing, easier-to-eat foods.

Many patients find themselves needing to remove the band within 7 to 10 years due to complications or insufficient weight loss.

Studies have shown that up to 80% of gastric bands need to be removed or repositioned within 10 years of the procedure. While initial weight loss may be successful, long-term maintenance is often unreliable.

Patients with a gastric band may gain 10 kg or more after removal and find themselves eligible for weight loss surgery again. This fear leads many to tolerate unpleasant symptoms. Unfortunately, subsequent operations on the stomach carry higher risks and are less reliable.

At Veritas Specialist Centre, we are committed to recommending the best operation for your situation the first time. Gastric banding has fallen short compared to other techniques like sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass surgery, which offer more reliable and sustainable results.

If you’re considering weight loss surgery, there are now more successful options to suit your individual needs. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have. We are here to help you achieve your true health.

gastric band surgery perth


Gastric band surgery, also known as lap band surgery, involves the insertion of an adjustable band around the upper stomach via laparoscopy (a type of keyhole surgery performed in the abdominal or pelvic area). This band is an inflatable ring of silicon rubber that reduces the capacity of the stomach, thus restricting the amount of food that can be consumed.

The band slows the emptying process into the stomach and the intestines, creating an early sensation of fullness which can reduce appetite.

Gastric band surgery was initially undertaken with a permanent, fixed device but nowadays, removal of the silicon band can be performed with minimal risk.

The band is also adjustable as its inner surface can be inflated or deflated with a saline solution.

A high risk of gastric band surgery is slippage of the band, which can cause severe discomfort and can occur even years after surgery. This is estimated to occur in one in six patients.

Other risks include erosion and deflation, obstruction of the stomach, dilation of the oesophagus, nausea or vomiting.

There is also the risk of perforation during the gastric band surgery. This is more prevalent if there is scarring behind the stomach as it can be difficult to place the band. This may result in a hole in the stomach which can leak stomach contents and result in a serious infection.

As with all surgical procedures, other risks can include blood clots, bleeding or infection at the wound, and risks relating to the use of anaesthesia or the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body.

It is important to note that while the procedure works to help with weight loss, a patient must be very strict with their diet to avoid complications.

Side effects of the gastric band if this strict diet is not adhered to include vomiting and pain associated with food getting stuck.

All foods must be chewed thoroughly and carefully, and certain foods are off limits including chicken breast, steak and bread.

Gastric band surgery offers the advantages of being reversible and adjustable. It is also considered a minimally invasive approach to weight loss surgery and the least traumatic procedure in terms of post-operative pain and recovery time since it does not involve any cutting, stapling or re-routing of the stomach.

A disadvantage of gastric band surgery is that weight loss does not occur as rapidly or as with other procedures.

It also involves an ongoing restricted lifestyle as certain food including vegetables and salads can be difficult to eat while foods such as chicken breast, steak and bread cannot be consumed. Any indiscretions could result in vomiting and pain from food getting stuck.