HOW DOES A GASTRIC BAND WORK?
A gastric band is formed of 3 components; a silicone ring, and tubing attaching the ring to a port.The ring is placed at the top of the stomach just below the gullet through keyhole surgery and locked into place. The tubing travels internally to the port which is placed just beneath the skin on top of the muscle of the tummy wall. This does not bulge, however can be felt through the skin to allow injection of solution into the port which tightens the ring creating an hour-glass effect on the stomach. The much smaller pouch above the ring quickly fills with food, restricting your ability to have any more and giving a sensation of fullness.
MECHANISM OF ACTION
As depicted in the video, the band works by creating an hour-glass effect on the top part of the stomach, slowing food passing through to a trickle. This physical impediment allows an individual to feel fullness very soon after having a mouth-full or two of their meal. A slight sensation of nausea can develop if the pouch above the band is not allowed to empty before having any further mouth-fulls.
TYPES OF GASTRIC BAND
There are numerous commercial manufacturers of gastric bands. However, the market is dominated by one or two manufacturers who have developed their products to enhance patient safety, decrease the complication rate and make the procedure technically easier. WLSKent use Ethicon SAGB bands. The total fill volume of this band ranges from 8-11 mls of saline, however each individual is unique and so is their ideal fill volume. Bands have been licensed to be used at a lower BMI of 30 by the FDA.
Gastric Band Package
- One year package £4795
- Two year packge £5950
- All inclusive package with unlimited follow ups for duration
- Follow ups with surgeon for duration
- Unlimited band fills and refills
- One night hospital stay
- Surgical corrections covered for 6 months
- Unexpected post-operative events covered
Bands can be filled either in clinic or under X-ray guidance. The simplest method is a clinical fill, which is routinely performed in the outpatient department as part of the regular 8-12 weekly follow up. An injection into the port, which lies just underneath the skin, will travel in the band tubing to the ring surrounding the top of the stomach, tightening it. Sipping some water will then ensure that the band is not too tight.
As with all surgery, risks such as bleeding, infection and clots forming in the leg veins or travelling to the lungs are possible. There is a small chance of infection or leakage of the band tubing, or a slippage or erosion of the band ring. The port can sometimes flip to lie on one side or upside down, however this risk is minimized by the usage of new port stapling technologies. If any of these minor risks occur, then a further operation to change components or fix the defect may be required. These occurrences are normally covered within the surgery package for a period of time. For this and other reasons, it is not advisable to have a band fitted overseas.