Gastric Band Surgery: What you need to know and what to do if it goes wrong

By Zoe Diss

Woman's belly before and after weight loss on gray background, plastic surgery concept

Gastric band surgery is a popular weight loss surgery which involves restricting the size of the stomach. However, like all surgeries, the complications should be considered before going ahead with the procedure.

What is gastric band surgery?

Gastric band surgery involves inserting a tiny camera into the abdomen and applying a ‘band’ around the upper portion of the stomach.

The purpose of this surgery is to restrict the amount of food someone can eat, leading them to become fuller quicker. The gastric band is a popular weight loss surgery as it generally has positive results and is seen as a relatively safe procedure. It also remains popular as it is a form of surgery that can be reversed if needed.

Gastric band surgery can also be altered after the procedure, by tightening or loosening the band dependent on the patient’s needs.

How long does it take to fit a gastric band?

Gastric band surgery is a relatively straightforward and quick procedure. You will be placed under general anaesthetic, and the procedure should last around 45 minutes to 1 hour.

In most instances you may be able to be discharged from the hospital on the same day as the operation, providing that the effects of the anaesthetics have worn off, and the doctor or surgeon is satisfied that the operation has been successful.

The recovery time for gastric band surgery is short, with most people needing around 1-2 weeks to recover fully.

Following your procedure, you will have regular check-ups with the doctor or surgeon, to ensure your health and the success of the surgery moving forward.

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What could go wrong?

As with all surgery, an element of risk is carried with the procedure. Your surgeon or doctor is obliged to ensure they fully explain the dangers of the surgery, and that you have given consent for the surgery to proceed. If it is found that a surgeon did not fully explain the risks and you suffered as a result, this could be grounds for suing your surgeon.

All surgeries run the risk of general complications such as reacting badly to an anaesthetic or suffering from a blood clot.

Specifically, with a gastric band, the complications include infections around the band itself, and injury to the stomach or the band coming loose.

In order to claim compensation if something goes wrong, it will need to be proved that your surgeon acted negligently or made a serious error in your surgery.

  • Expert medical negligence solicitors
  • Independently recognised as specialists
  • No win, no fee claims

Gastric band claims

Since gastric band surgery is reversible, should something go wrong, you will need to prove that the surgery was performed to a poor standard, and left lasting damage to your body. Establishing this is not easy and will require the assistance of expert solicitors.

Suppose you believe that your surgery may have been botched, or you are suffering due to the procedure. In that case, your first action should always be to get in contact with your surgeon to see if the issue can be resolved without involving solicitors.


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