What is gastric band surgery?

Private gastric band (or laparoscopic band) surgery is a keyhole operation performed under general anaesthetic where the surgeon puts a silicon doughnut to partition the top of the stomach.

This creates an hourglass with two sections; a very small pouch above the band and the rest of the stomach below. It’s a very flexible procedure because the band can be tightened or loosened.

The aim of the procedure is to decrease the amount you can eat. When you eat anything solid or dry, it sits above the band for a while before mixing with saliva and trickling through the stomach. As a result, it takes up to three times as long to eat.

This operation can be done as day case surgery.

Gastric band surgery at Benenden Hospital in Kent

Gastric band surgery at Benenden Hospital in Kent

As with all weight loss surgery, a lifelong commitment is required to making the change to a healthier future.

We provide private gastric band surgery at our CQC ‘Outstanding’ rated Kent hospital, carried out by specialist surgeons and our expert team who will help and support you in your weight loss journey.

How much does a private gastric band cost?

Gastric band prices in the UK can vary. You can access gastric band surgery at Benenden Hospital as a self-paying patient; our guide price for a private gastric band is from £7,160 (including psychology, initial consultation and follow up appointment).

Contact us using our online quotation form or call our Private Patient Team now on 01580 363158 for more details about gastric band costs.

I have a question about gastric band surgery

Why would I have private gastric band surgery?

Gastric band surgery may be a good choice if you’ve found it difficult to lose weight through diet or by using medication.

How long do I have to wait for gastric band surgery?

As with all our weight loss surgery, once you’ve had an initial consultation, we’ll give you a two-week cooling off period to ensure that you’re happy to go ahead with the procedure.

We’ll make a series of appointments for you for blood tests and pre-assessment, including anaesthesia. Your surgery will then be booked for four to six weeks’ time.

Do I need to inform my GP if I decide to go ahead with surgery?

If you're paying for your own treatment, you don't have an obligation to inform your GP but, because they’ll do any long-term follow-up, we always advise that you let them know.

What happens before gastric band surgery?

Once surgery is agreed, you’ll need to follow a strict diet in the two weeks before the operation in order to prepare your body for surgery. This pre-operative diet will help shrink your liver, allowing your Consultant to operate more easily and safely.

Smoking may lead to postoperative complications and slow down your recovery so, if you’re a smoker, we’ll advise you to stop.

What happens during gastric band surgery?

Once you’re under general anaesthetic, an inflatable band is inserted using keyhole surgery and placed to sit around the top of your stomach just below the gullet, then locked into place.

Your stomach can then be restricted by inflating the band through a tube. The tubing travels internally to a port just beneath the skin and on top of the muscle of the tummy wall. Saline solution is injected into the port and this tightens the ring, creating an hour-glass effect on the stomach. It doesn’t bulge, although it can be felt through the skin.

The band's effectiveness will be reviewed as part of your regular 8-12-week follow-up cycle and topped up if needed. It's a simple procedure to inject further saline solution through the port, which then flows into the ring, tightening it. The follow-up team will then ask you to sip some water to check that the ring is not too tight.

Although a gastric band is a long-term weight loss procedure, it can be removed, so it’s classed as reversible.

What should I expect after gastric band surgery?

As weight loss surgery is a keyhole operation, your recovery should be much quicker than with open surgery. In most cases, you can leave the hospital after one night or even later that day. However, it varies from person to person so it’s important to follow your Consultant's advice.

Once you’re home, we’d recommend you take two weeks off work. While you’re off, you should avoid sitting for long periods and be as mobile as you can to avoid blood clots forming. You should avoid lifting heavy objects and you shouldn’t drive.

In the two weeks after your operation, you’ll need to change your eating patterns and your diet. You’ll only be able to drink liquids before easing yourself into more solid foods, which you’ll need to chew thoroughly to avoid any discomfort.

You’ll have access to a nutritional therapist for nutritional advice, including diet sheets if you need them, and face-to-face follow-up appointments for several months afterwards to monitor progress. They may suggest supplements to ensure you get the nutrients you need for energy and good health.  

The band's effectiveness will be reviewed as part of your regular 8 to 12-week follow-up cycle and topped up if needed. It needs to be tight enough for you to lose weight but, at the same time, we need to make sure it’s not too restrictive.

It's a simple procedure to inject further saline solution through the access port, which then flows into the ring, tightening it. We’ll ask you to sip some water to check that the ring is not too tight.

Gastric band surgery at Benenden Hospital in Kent

Jenny's gastric band success story

Discover how gastric band surgery at Benenden Hospital helped Jenny Eldridge lose five and a half stone, reduce her medication and feel happy and healthy again.

Contact us about private gastric band surgery

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.