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A Guide To

Surgery Process Guide to Gastric Band Surgery

“Most surgeons…would only consider a person for [this type of] surgery if there was a clinical need, and not just for cosmetic reasons.” -NHS UK

Gastric bands are most commonly administered using keyhole surgery. The band is secured around the upper section of your stomach. The band contains a balloon which is inflated through a port and placed just beneath your skin. This is effectively the new stomach space. The pouch fills up when you eat, and the band slows the food into the lower part of the stomach. It is performed under general anaesthesia which means you will be unconscious for the operation and will be required to stay in hospital over night. 


You will be given a general anaesthetic.

Cosmetic Surgery Technique Step
Cosmetic Surgery Technique Step

Your surgeon will make numerous small incisions (usually around 4-5) in your abdomen to gain access. 


Using small instruments, the surgeon is led by a laparoscope (a thin telescope with a light and camera lens at the tip of it) to secure the band around the top part of your stomach.

Cosmetic Surgery Technique Step
Cosmetic Surgery Technique Step

The band is connected by latex tubing to the port (which will fill up when you eat), which the surgeon will place under your skin. 


When the band and port are in the correct position, each cut is closed with stitches or small, metal clips.

Cosmetic Surgery Technique Step
Cosmetic Surgery Technique Step

The band contains a circular balloon filled with sterile salt water (saline). After your operation, your surgeon can add or remove saline through the port. This determines the size of the opening from your stomach, and how quickly the pouch empties. Your surgeon may do this in the X-ray department. The amount of fluid in your band may need to be adjusted a couple of times in the following few months. Don’t worry – these adjustments are done so that you are comfortably maintaining weight loss whilst being able to keep down a reasonable amount of food. 

Complications / Negligence Signs

Infection around the band

Cosmetic Surgery Complication
Cosmetic Surgery Complication

The band may slip out of place, or begin to leak or deflate. In this instance the band will need to be either repositioned, removed or replaced. One in ten people who have gastric band surgery may need to have a replacement band fitted in the future. 

Surgical Risks

As this procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic, there are numerous risks associated with it. However, these are very rare (typically, these risks will occur one case in every 10,000). 

Complications can include:

-Anaphylaxis (a harmful reaction to the anaesthetic)

Inherited reaction to the anaesthetic

In extremely rare cases, death (approx. 1 death for every 100,000 general anaesthetics given).

These problems are more likely to arise if:

you are undergoing emergency surgery

you have other illnesses 

you are a smoker

you are overweight 

Your surgeon should talk you through these risks before your operation. 


Injury to organs in your abdomen (for example your spleen) whilst the surgery is taking place. 


If you would like more information and key, impartial advice on the decisions you should consider before undergoing cosmetic surgery, read the S.A.F.E Choice Guide. 

Questions & Concerns

Has your cosmetic surgery left you with questions and conerns about the success of your procedure?

Do you think you may have been a cosmetic surgery negligence? Our specialist solicitors may be able to start a claim for you.

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