Gastric Band Summary

Gastric band surgery is done to help a patient with weight loss. The surgery is done laparoscopically. During the surgery a band is used to make your stomach smaller. This limits the amount of food you can consume, thus making you feel full more quickly.

Unlike other methods of weight loss surgery the gastric band is adjustable. This means that you doctor can increase or decrease the size of your stomach pouch over time as necessary. The surgery is also reversible because the band can be removed in a separate procedure if desired or needed.

Length of the procedure: 30 to 60 minutes

Hospital Stay: Most patents are released form care within 1 to 2 days their procedure.

Recovery before traveling home: Patients seeking gastric banding through medical tourism can return home within 2 to 3 days of their procedure.

Travel Tip: It is best to plan to stay at least one day beyond your gastric band procedure. However most doctors recommend that you stay 4 to 5 days to recover before traveling.

Procedure Details

Your surgery will begin with the administration of general anesthesia. The surgeon will make between 2 and 5 small incisions in your abdomen. They will use these incisions to insert the laparoscope and other surgical tools.

Your surgeon will place the gastric band around the upper portion of your stomach. This separates the upper stomach from the lower stomach, creating a small pouch for food. There is no internal cutting or incisions involved in this procedure.

After the Procedure

After the procedure you will be taken to recovery. Your vitals will be monitored carefully during this time. When you have woken from the surgery and your vitals are stable you will be moved to a regular hospital room.

Many patients are able to resume normal activity within a few days of the procedure. The first 2 to 3 weeks patients must adhere to a liquid diet. Food will be slowly introduced back into the diet and normal eating resumes fully at 6 weeks post-op.


Gastric band surgery is successful for most patients. Weight loss during the first 3 to 6 months is rapid. Between 12 to 18 months post-op weight loss should start to stabilize. Most patients continue to lose weight for 3 years after they have the procedure. The gastric band can be adjusted in a simple doctor office visit if:

Weight loss is insufficient

You have problems eating

You are vomiting after eating

Risks and Complications

As is with any surgery there are risks associated with gastric band surgery. The following is a list of the most common risks and complications:

  1. Reaction to anesthesia or medication
  2. Breathing problems
  3. Blood clots
  4. Pulmonary embolism
  5. Infection
  6. Pneumonia
  7. Bleeding
  8. Heart attack
  9. Digestive organ injury
  10. Gastric band slippage
  11. Internal belly scarring
  12. Bowel obstruction
  13. Inability to adjust gastric band
  14. Gastritis
  15. Stomach ulcer
  16. Malnutrition
  17. Vomiting

Contact your physician if any of the following occur:

  1. Temperature above 101 degrees
  2. Incision bleeding
  3. Discharge from incision is thick, yellow, green or milky
  4. Incision is red or warm to the touch
  5. Pain uncontrolled by medication
  6. Difficulty breathing
  7. Persistent cough
  8. Loss of appetite or loss of thirst
  9. Skin or eye white turns yellow
  10. Stool is loose or you have diarrhea
  11. Vomiting occurs after you eat