Visit Our Weight Loss Clinic for Gastric Band Surgery in Melbourne

Excessive weight gain can lead to many medical complications and challenges in daily life. Bariatric surgeries, such as gastric banding are viable surgical options that restrict your eating to aid weight loss. The Victorian Specialist Surgery & Weight Loss Centre offers gastric band surgery in Melbourne to help you overcome obesity and other weight-related concerns. Mr Niruben Rajasagaram, our Bariatric surgeon, has over a decade of experience in advanced laparoscopic surgery.

What is Gastric Band Surgery?

Drs Kazmac and Yap introduced gastric band surgery to the medical industry in 1990 as a revolutionary way to aid weight loss without the risks of a gastric bypass. Here is what you need to know about the procedure before getting lap band surgery at our Melbourne clinic.

Gastric banding is a form of weight loss surgery where a surgeon places a specialised band around the stomach, sometimes called a lap band. The band temporarily divides your stomach into two pouches, reducing its volume and helping you feel full sooner to prevent overeating and excessive weight gain.

A gastric band operation is a laparoscopic procedure that is minimally invasive and reversible. Laparoscopic surgeries do not require any large surgical cuts or damage to the muscles – your surgeon will make a small incision and use a thin tube called a laparoscope to insert the band. This type of operation is also known as keyhole surgery.

A laparoscopic adjustable gastric band is a ring made from soft, medical-grade silicone that fits around the upper portion of your stomach. The band has an inflatable balloon inside it that helps adjust its tightness. Gastric bands are attached to an injection port fixed to your abdominal wall below the skin via soft tubing. Your surgeon will use this port to inflate and deflate the band when it requires adjustment.

You may benefit from gastric band surgery if you suffer from obesity and your body mass index (BMI) is over 35. Your doctor may also suggest a lap band if you have other obesity-related health issues, such as diabetes, sleep apnoea, or hypertension. This procedure may be beneficial if you have tried non-surgical weight loss methods, such as medication, dieting, and exercise programmes, without success.

How is a Gastric Band Adjusted?

You can get your band adjusted to change how much food typically passes through your stomach as your progress with your weight loss programme. Here is what to expect when adjusting your lap band at our Melbourne clinic.

The gastric band is attached to a piece of tubing with a port at the end, which the surgeon fixes to the abdominal wall below your skin during the insertion operation. Your specialist can fill your lap band with fluid, typically a saline solution, or deflate it to change its tightness around your stomach after the initial surgery.

The doctor will insert a needle into the port under your skin to inject saline solution through the tube and into your gastric band. As the band fills up, it puts pressure on your stomach to shape it into two compartments – a small upper pouch and a larger lower stomach.

Tightening the lap band creates a smaller opening between the two sections of your stomach, making it more difficult for large amounts of food to pass through it at once. This helps food move more slowly through the stomach, preventing you from feeling hungry all the time, which often leads to overeating.

How Often Do I Need To Get my Gastric Band Adjusted?

Everyone requires different levels of lap band adjustment, and visiting your specialist regularly will help you find a fit that allows you to get all the nutrients you need without gaining weight.

The frequency of adjustments depends on your nutritional intake and if you are reaching your targeted goals. You will need to adjust your gastric band at our Melbourne clinic every four weeks for at least the first six months after surgery. You may need additional adjustments to find the best fit for your lap band during the first year.

Once you have reached a point where you experience consistent weight loss, you can schedule the adjustment appointments further apart. Many surgeons suggest slight adjustments once or twice a year to make sure the band is positioned correctly and still helping you maintain your weight-loss goals.

The specialist may ask you questions about how often you feel hungry, how much you are snacking, and how full you feel after eating to gauge whether your band needs adjusting. Contact your doctor if you experience vomiting, coughing at night, or any pain which may indicate your band is too tight.

What are the Advantages of a Gastric Band Over Other Weight Loss Surgeries?

Many bariatric surgeries are available to help you lose weight when non-surgical methods are not working. Here are some of the reasons to choose a lap band over other similar surgeries:

A lap band operation is considered to have the lowest mortality risk compared to other common weight loss procedures, such as sleeve gastrectomies and gastric bypasses, performed in Australia.

There is no dividing of any abdominal organs or performing an anastomosis during the procedure, reducing the risk of surgical complications. The surgery also has a relatively rapid recovery time compared to other bariatric surgeries.

LAGB bariatric surgery is entirely reversible. Your surgeon can remove the band with ‘key hole’ or laparoscopic surgery, unlike many other bariatric surgeries that involve removing portions of the stomach or intestine. You can choose to remove your lap band once you have reached your weight loss goals and would like to return to eating larger portions.

Gastric banding does not cause your body to absorb fewer nutrients from your food, unlike gastric bypass surgery. Malabsorption of nutrients connected to gastric bypass surgery may result in various deficiencies requiring you to take vitamin or mineral supplements indefinitely.

FAQs About Gastric Band Surgery

How long is the operating time for a lap band procedure?

The surgery duration is generally 30 minutes to an hour. This varies with a patient’s individual circumstances, including but not limited to their BMI, previous surgery, and medical co-morbidities.

Will I be able to feel my port?

Some people can feel their ports under the skin, and it is no cause for alarm. The larger the layer of fat covering the port, the more difficult it will be to feel and find. Talk to your specialist if you feel pain or experience inflammation at the site of the port.

What will my diet be like after lap band surgery?

Your doctor will guide your dietary restrictions for the weeks following surgery. You will likely consume only liquids immediately after the procedure to allow your stomach to heal. After a few weeks, you can reintroduce solid foods into your diet, but you will need to reduce your portion size and eat nutrient-dense foods.

Visit the Victorian Specialist Surgery & Weight Loss Centre in Melbourne

VSS Weight Loss Centre is a trusted surgical practice that offers gastric banding in Melbourne. We have extensive knowledge and experience in bariatric surgery, and our medical team is passionate about providing weight-loss solutions that help you overcome obesity and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.