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Everything You Need to Know About Laparoscopic Gastric Banding

Okanagan Health Surgical Gastric Banding 101

Are you considering plastic surgery for weight loss? Here’s everything you need to know about the laparoscopic gastric banding procedure at our Kelowna private hospital. 

There are several different types of surgery for weight loss, and while undergoing such procedures is a major life change and shouldn’t be taken lightly, they can have incredible health benefits including:

  • Extended life expectancy
  • Improvement or complete resolution of certain health conditions such as: 
    • Diabetes
    • Hypertension
    • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased activity

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At Okanagan Health Surgical, we are passionate about improving the health and quality of life of all our patients. We offer a wide range of plastic and general surgery, including abdominal procedures, hand & wrist surgery, and gastric banding, to meet all your health and aesthetic needs.

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What is Gastric Banding?

Gastric banding is a weight loss procedure that limits the amount of food you can eat by inserting a band around the stomach. This helps you feel full sooner and for longer than usual.

What you should know about the gastric band:

  • Your plastic surgeon will insert an adjustable silicone band into the body and place it around the upper part of your stomach.
  • This gastric band will divide the stomach into two sections: a small upper pouch and a larger lower stomach.
  • Because less food can fit into the smaller pouch, fewer calories will be absorbed.
  • Patients will feel full sooner, and this feeling of fullness will last longer, leading to weight loss.
  • The gastric band is adjustable. By changing the amount of saline in the band through a port in your abdomen, it can be adjusted to a patient’s shifting needs.

When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, gastric banding is a safe and effective weight loss procedure that can be customized to meet your unique health needs.

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Benefits of Gastric Banding

Gastric banding is considered one of the safest and least invasive methods of weight loss surgery. When performed by a skilled surgeon, it can have many benefits. 

For example:

  • It’s fully reversible (since the anatomy of the stomach is not altered).
  • It has been proven to have very successful, long term weight loss results.
  • Short treatment time (approximately 45-60 minutes).
  • Relatively short recovery time (7-10 days).
  • It has a low risk of complications.

However, as with all plastic surgeries, inserting a gastric band also comes with some surgical risks and side effects. Before undergoing this procedure, you must be aware that you may experience:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Band slippage/pouch dilatation
  • Stoma obstruction

Am I a Candidate For Gastric Banding?

Gastric banding has been proven to significantly improve the lives of patients, however, it is not suitable for everyone.

You may be considered a candidate for a gastric band if:

  • Your BMI is 40 or higher.
  • Your BMI is 35 or higher and you also suffer from a health condition such as Type II diabetes, hypertension or sleep apnea.
  • You have been overweight for more than 5 years.
  • Your serious attempts at weight loss have had only short-term success.
  • You don’t have any other conditions that may be causing your obesity.
  • You are prepared to make substantial changes to your eating habits and lifestyle.
  • You do not drink alcohol in excess

However, before you undergo any surgery, it’s important to book a consultation with your plastic surgeon. They can help assess your medical condition and health needs to best determine whether or not this weight loss procedure is right for you.

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Gastric Banding Recovery Period

Depending on your general health, the expected recovery time with gastric banding is typically between 7-14 days.

You can expect:

  • some pain (typically it peaks between days 3-6 before tapering off).
  • to follow a liquid diet for at least two weeks before transitioning into solid foods.
  • gas pain for the first 2-3 days.
  • to return to work from anywhere between 2-4 weeks.
  • to avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for a few weeks after the surgery.

Tips for Gastric Banding Recovery

It’s important to remember that each patient will recover from this weight loss surgery at their own pace. However, there are some things you can do at home to make the process more comfortable and a little quicker.

  • Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will aid recovery.
  • Avoid strenuous activities such as cycling, jogging, weight lifting and/or aerobic exercises until your doctor says it’s okay.
  • Try to walk a little every day as this boosts blood flow and helps prevent pneumonia and constipation.
  • Until your doctor says it’s okay, don’t lift anything that will make you strain e.g. a child, grocery bags, milk containers or a vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not take a bath for the first 2 weeks, or until you are cleared by your doctor to do so.


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To find out more about the benefits, risks and costs of our range of weight loss and body contouring procedures, contact our Kelowna private hospital today at 250-868-9799 or fill in our online contact form.

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