What is a gastric band?
A gastric band is commonly called a lap-band or gastric banding. It is the most common surgical procedure used to combat obesity in the Netherlands.
The gastric band is used to decrease food consumption, and that’s why it’s called a restrictive procedure. Also, you will feel satiated much quicker, which also lasts longer. As a result, the gastric band helps you to lose weight. In the end, it is up to you to make sure that you maintain your desired weight. This can only happen when you change your lifestyle. This means eating less and exercising more. The result of a gastric band is only lasting when you give it 100%.
Praktijk Gabriels acts as a mediator. Registration and follow-up appointments are offered in Barendrecht (NL). Our patients are treated under the responsibility of and in a bariatric center in Belgium.
What are the advantages of a gastric band?
No diet – you will never eat too much.
With this operation, you can lose a lot of excess weight.
The size of the upper part of the stomach can be adjusted with the balloon.
The surgeon does not have to make an incision in the stomach.
In principle, a gastric band is permanent – however, it can be removed without disturbing the stomach.
How is a gastric band fitted?
You will be given a general anaesthetic. This means that you will be asleep during the whole procedure and will not feel anything. You will remember nothing, even after the procedure. You will be woken once the gastric band has been fitted. You will be admitted as a day patient for this procedure because of the general anaesthetic.
The gastric band is fitted around the upper part of the stomach using (keyhole) surgery. The stomach will be narrowed and divided into a smaller and larger part. The gastric band will make you feel satiated quicker, making you feel less hungry. The gastric band is made of silicone, with an inflatable balloon on the inside. This allows for the diameter of the gastric band to be adjusted after the operation. The narrower the band, the quicker you will feel satiated and the slower the food will pass through the gastric band.
To make the band narrower (top-up), fluid (saline solution) is injected via the injection port. This is placed under the skin during the operation and is connected to the gastric band via a tube. Fluid can also be removed. Therefore, the gastric band can be adjusted to your body and wishes.
‘Bariatrics’ is the collective term for all procedures used to treat obesity. Such as the gastric balloon, gastric band, gastric sleeve and the gastric bypass.
We fully understand that it is a huge step to make an appointment for a bariatric procedure. Therefore, you can expect our full support in this – if you would like, of course. We advise you to bring your partner or a good friend with you to the first consultation.
During the first consultation, we will discuss everything to do with the procedure. First of all, we will discuss with you what disturbs you the most about your body and what you would like to have changed. Also, we will discuss the methods and surgical techniques used and inform you which are the most suitable for you. But also, what results you may expect, what the possible risks are and the aftercare. You will always receive an honest opinion and will be informed about the procedure and period afterwards.
During the consultation, the consultant will look to see if you are a suitable candidate for the bariatric surgery you have chosen. The surgeon will ask you some questions regarding your health, medical background and any medicines you may be using. Should you use blood thinners, then you should stop taking these at least one week before the procedure.
You will be able to make the right choice after this first consultation. We understand it’s a lot of information to absorb. Therefore, do not hesitate should you wish to contact us again after this consultation with more questions.
When am I a suitable candidate for a gastric band?
You are a good candidate for a gastric band at Praktijk Gabriels when you have a BMI of no less than 29.
You must also be aged between 18 and 60 and be motivated to adjust your eating patterns and lifestyle. You are also a suitable candidate if you have health problems, such as diabetes or heart and joint problems, associated with excess weight.
What can I expect after the fitting of a gastric band?
You will remain in the recovery room for at least two hours after the operation is completed. As soon as your bodily functions are doing well and the doctor has cleared you for discharge, you may go home. Please note that for the first week after the surgery, you may not drive yourself unless otherwise indicated by the doctor.
Do not use any dangerous machines in the first week either. Do not use any tobacco, drugs or drink any alcohol.
Smoking narrows the blood vessels and can prevent the wound from healing properly, or it can affect the overall recovery. That’s why it is advisable to stop smoking for four weeks before and for four weeks after the surgery.
The body has undergone treatment and needs to recovery in its own time. The length of recovery is different per person, but it always takes time. We’ve bundled together the most important guidelines for after the surgery in our folder Living guidelines after bariatry.
The day after the operation you will be contacted by the support team from Praktijk Gabriels. They will make an appointment with you for two weeks and six weeks later, for the first check-ups. Should it be necessary, the band can be tightened, depending on the results and the sense of fullness.
You will have further check-ups with our bariatric nurse, at the practice of Diana Gabriels, after three, six and nine months, and after one year. Each time adjustments will be made, when and where necessary. There will be a bi-yearly check-up as from the first year after the operation, for five years.
Each body is unique. This also means that everybody loses weight in his or her own way and time. Therefore, we cannot guarantee how much weight you will lose in the first half-year. Of course, you will eat much less than before. However, it’s more about the type of food you consume. Also, we advise you to exercise sufficiently in the period after the procedure. This is not only important for your health, but it will also help you to reach your goal faster.
Regardless of whether you are being treated for a gastric band, sleeve or bypass, or whether your BMI is less than 40, it is still possible to lose up to 100 per cent of your excess weight. The target weight is then a BMI of 23-25. Is your BMI the same or higher than 40, then you will statistically lose 70 per cent of your excess weight.