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Gastric Band Poland - FAQ

Contents

What is gastric band?

Gastric or laparoscopic adjustable gastric band is the device that placed around the stomach in order to make 2 parts of it. The upper part becomes small, as a result, it limits the stomach’s capacity to intake food and increases the feeling of fullness.

What is gastric band made of?

The gastric band is made of solid silicone. The device consists of 3 parts the band (placed around the stomach), the port (placed above the abdominal muscles but under the skin) and the thin length of tubing that connects the band to the port.

Who is a candidate for gastric band surgery abroad?

If you have Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more, you are a candidate for gastric band surgery in Poland. If your BMI is lower but you have health problems related to obesity, you might also be a candidate. The decision if you are a candidate or not, only the doctor can make.

What happens during gastric band surgery abroad?

Gastric band surgery is performed using laparoscopic techniques. During the surgery, the doctor makes 5 small cuts through which he inserts the band. The band is placed and clipped around the top of the stomach, then the doctor connects it to the port, which controls the size of the narrow opening. Surgery lasts 30-40 minutes and is done under general anaesthesia.

How much weight will I lose?

The amount of weight varies from patient to patient. In general, patients lose 50% of their excess body weight. If you eat healthily and exercise regularly, you may lose 80% of your excess body weight. Your final results depend on you.

Can I have the gastric band removed?

Yes. The band can be removed surgically if desired. Or the doctor can simply remove all the saline from the band which means that the band can no longer affect your stomach or your digestive function.

How long will I be off work after gastric band surgery in Poland?

It depends on what type of work you have. In general, 1 week after the surgery a patient can go back to work. The time you can go back to work will be discussed with your doctor during the consultation.

How long does it take to recover from gastric band abroad?

As during the surgery, general anaesthesia is used, it is advised to spend 1 night after the surgery in the clinic. 1 week after the surgery, most patients can go back to work. As soon as you feel well, you should start walking and light exercises, but more serious physical activities should be restarted in a month after gastric band surgery in Poland.

Will my food still be digested normally after gastric banding is performed?

Yes. The gastric band does not make changes to your digestive system, and all consumed food is digested and absorbed normally.

What is a band adjustment?

Adjustments are made by adding or removing fluid from the band, this is done through the port that is placed above the abdominal muscles, but under the skin. It allows the doctor to control your weight loss process and makes the gastric band a long-term weight loss procedure.

Will I need to take vitamin supplements?

One of the biggest advantages of gastric band procedure is that it does not make any changes to your digestive system, it means that your body will be able to absorb vitamins from food. However, to help you recover, the doctor might prescribe you some vitamins (B12, folic acid and iron).

What scars will I have after gastric band surgery abroad?

Today, gastric band is performed using laparoscopic techniques, and scarring is minimal. The surgeon will make 4-5 incisions 1 cm wide during the procedure they are normally healed in 10-14 days. The scars should fade gradually.

Will I need plastic surgery for the excess skin after gastric band surgery abroad?

It’s up to you. The amount of excess skin, you will have after the gastric band surgery, depends on your weight loss, age, and habits. If you decide to have plastic surgery to remove excess skin, we advise you to come to Poland, where our professional plastic surgeons can provide you with a high-quality tummy tuck in Poland or lipectomy in Poland at affordable prices.

What is the pre-op diet?

At least 5 days you need to follow a low-calorie diet. This is needed for a number of reasons, it reduces fat around the stomach and liver, it shrinks the size of the liver and as a result, your surgery becomes safer.

How long should I stay in Poland after gastric band surgery?

To have the gastric band surgery done in Poland, you need to stay in the country for 1 week. Usually, the first day you will have the consultation and medical tests, the next day the surgeon will perform the surgery. 1 night after the surgery, we advise you to stay in the clinic, in order for our doctors to take care of you, as you may experience some confusion, disorientation, or difficulty thinking clearly after general anaesthesia. The rest of your stay you can spend at the hotel, and go sightseeing. On the third day after the surgery, you will have a check-up, during which the doctor will check if everything is ok with the band, provide you with all the instructions concerning your recovery, and give you his contact information.

Where is a gastric band port placed?

The gastric band port is placed under the skin in the abdomen. The exact location depends on the patient’s anatomy and surgeon’s preference and it might be the upper abdomen (the most common) or off to the left or right.

The newest studies recommend using mesh fixation of the gastric band port, as it can significantly reduce the incidence of port site flippage, minimising the need for port repositioning operations.

Is gastric band covered by NHS?

Yes, it is. but you must meet with NHS criteria:

  • your BMI is equal or more than 40, or your BMI is between 35 and 40 and you suffer from one obesity-related condition (for example type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure)
  • you’ve tried dieting, exercise or other weight loss methods, but with no long lasting effect
  • you are ready to start  following a healthy lifestyle and attending regular check-ups
  • you are under the care of a specialist 

What is gastric band erosion?

Gastric band erosion or band migration is a known complication following gastric band procedure. It occurs when the gastric band grows into the stomach. The band will no longer restrict food and it may become a cause for other complications, i.e. port site skin infection or abscess, or your band needing to be overfilled in order to work correctly. The first signs of erosion are an increased feeling of hunger and weight gain. The band migration usually happens up to two years after the surgery. It can be treated by removing the band and it happens to almost 10% of the patients.

How much does gastric band cost?

This operation is obsolete and the majority of the clinics would recommend gastric bypass or sleeve instead of the band. The cost of band varied from 4500 GBP in Poland to 9500 GBP in the UK.

slim body after gastric bandWhat is gastric band removal?

It’s a surgical procedure of removing the gastric band. The surgeon will cut the capsule created by the body around the device, remove sutures and any scar tissue formed, as well as the band itself. The band, tube and port will then be removed from the stomach through the incision. There are two main reasons why the band should be removed: first being that the treatment was unsuccessful and the patient didn’t lose weight, second being the complications, i.e. include band erosion, a band or port infection not curable with antibiotics, band intolerance (with symptoms like excessive nausea or vomiting), band slippage resulting in a bigger pouch than needed, dysphagia or excessive swallowing difficulty, esophageal dilatation or dysmotility, pouch dilation and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Can a gastric band be removed?

Yes, the surgeon will cut the capsule created by the body around the device, remove sutures and any scar tissue formed, as well as the band itself. The band, tube and port will then be removed from the stomach through the incision.

Can gastric band cause cancer?

As studies show, gastric cancer in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery is rare.

Can gastric band surgery be reversed?

Yes, the gastric band can be removed if the weight loss is insufficient or if there are complications.

Can gastric band cause diarrhoea?

No. Although diarrhoea or loose stools is mainly a potential side effect of sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass, but it is rarely associated with the gastric band.

Can gastric band affect pregnancy?

The study from 2014 shows that out of a group of 140 pregnant women after having lap band, none of them experienced gestational or obstetrical complications because of the gastric band. There can be surgical complications with the potential for a gastric band to slip or move during pregnancy which may lead to severe vomiting.

Can gastric band reverse diabetes?

As all the bariatric surgeries, the gastric band often improves the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or even puts type 2 diabetes into remission, even before patients start to lose weight.

The gastric band is the least effective, with remission rates of 50-60%, while the seldom-used biliopancreatic diversion, usually reserved for the most extreme cases of obesity, has remission rates of 95%. The effects of the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are similar and they achieve remission rates of 80%.

Can gastric band kill me?

No, it’s a safe surgical procedure and has a very low mortality rate of only 0.1%.

What can I eat after the gastric band?

The diet after gastric bypass progresses from a liquid, to pureed/soft and then to a modified normal diet. For the first 2 to 4 weeks you are allowed only liquid foods. Between 2nd and 6th week after surgery you can eat soft/mashed food, i.e. soft foods tend to be anything well cooked that can be mashed with the back of a fork. After 6 weeks you can start to eat normal food and it’s healthier wholesome options, not junk food. It’s recommended to eat smaller portions with small bites, you should also chew well and stop eating when you feel fullness.

Can a gastric band cause acid reflux?

Yes, it happens pretty often when the band is too tight, however in patients already having reflux there has been noted significant improvement in symptoms of GERD after gastric band placement.

Can gastric band stretch my stomach?

No, by making a small pouch it regulates the food intake and it can make your stomach actually smaller than it was before the surgery.

Can anyone get gastric band?

Only people with BMI of 35 or more and with obesity-related diseases can have any kind of bariatric procedure. If someone has a BMI within the normal range (from 19 to 25) it is unlikely that there will be a benefit from the procedure.

Can gastric band slip?

Yes, it’s one of the well-known complications after the procedure. A slip occurs when the part of the stomach below the band slips up or prolapses through the band. Because of that the opening between the pouch and the lower stomach becomes narrower or is completely blocked. Symptoms of the slipped band are severe heartburn or reflux (GERD, pain when eating solid food, vomiting with solid foods, night cough and chest pain or pressure. If you have any of those symptoms, you need to see your surgeon immediately. Sometimes just taking the fluid out of the band will allow the stomach to return to the previous position. Some band slips, however, require surgical repositioning of the band.

How does gastric band work?

The gastric band is a type of bariatric surgery and it involves placing a silicone band around the upper part of the stomach to decrease stomach size. Thanks to that the food intake is reduced. The band placed around the upper stomach has a tube attached that is accessible through a port under the skin of the abdomen. By using the port the surgeon injects saline solution into the band to inflate it to alter the degree of constriction around the stomach.

How gastric band is fitted?

It involves putting a silicone adjustable band around the top part of your stomach. The band placed around the upper stomach has a tube attached that is accessible through a port under the skin of the abdomen.

Can I have a gastric band without surgery?

No, it’s impossible. The surgery is done under general anaesthesia and it’s just slightly invasive, as the surgeon uses laparoscopy involving small cuts in the belly.

Can a gastric band help me with a hiatal hernia?

Yes, usually hiatal hernia is repaired during the gastric band surgery, but there is a high occurrence of a hiatal hernia after band surgery as a complication of the surgery. A hiatal hernia may develop as a result of longstanding restriction of the upper part of the stomach caused by the band. As the upper pouch distends it also moves up into the chest and may cause a cycle of distention, irritation, swelling, regurgitation and further increase is size. That leads to surgical removal of the band, as when the upper pouch distends, it is the only solution.

Can a gastric band help me with PCOS?

Yes. As metabolic syndrome and obesity are related to PCOS, gastric band surgery may help in treating them. You must remember, that, losing weight will not cure the PCOS,  but it may help in restoring a regular menstrual period.

Is it safe to have MRI with gastric band port?

Yes, as the gastric band has been tested for compatibility in the magnetic resonance environment and is MR Conditional. Band ports and surgical staples are made from a non magnetic metal and do not cause any problems either with safety or the image.

Can gastric band cause thyroid problems?

Many patients who need the gastric band have thyroid problems already. The surgery can only improve thyroid function.

Is gastric band safe?

Gastric banding is considered the least invasive weight loss surgery and also the safest. If necessary, the procedure can be reversed, and in time the stomach returns to its normal size. However, this procedure is considered to be obsolete and bariatric surgeons suggest undergoing different types of procedures. As international studies shows 1 in 10 people with a gastric band will need a further operation at some time in the future due to complications:

  • Slippage of the band
  • Erosion of the band.
  • Leakage of the band
  • Infection of the reservoir/port or tubing
  • GERD or reflux

What if the gastric band fails?

If the gastric band fails, it should be removed and you can consider different revision surgery, i.e. gastric sleeve or gastric bypass.

Can I have the gastric band if I drink alcohol?

If your drink sporadically, that should be no problem. However, if you are addicted from alcohol, you are not eligible for the surgery, as it is one of the contraindication for the surgery.

Is gastric band surgery painful?

The surgery is done under general anesthesia, so you won’t be able to feel anything during the surgery. You may be a little sore for the next few days after the surgery, but painkillers received in the hospital should tackle with this.

When I will see my gastric band results?

Every bariatric surgery requires a full commitment from the patient, as it means a complete change of the lifestyle. Commitment to diet and exercise after gastric band surgery will affect how soon you see results. The gastric band requires drastic changes in your diet – you need to eat healthy food in small portions.

What complications are possible after gastric band surgery?

In general, the gastric band may help in losing weight, but patients frequently experience problems with the device years after the procedure. The most common complications are vomiting (28.9% of the cases), indigestion (22.1%), acid reflux (14.8%), and nausea (5.4%). Among other complications are: leaks in the band, pouch dilation, band’s slippage from its original position and band erosion into the lining of the stomach.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our consultants!

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