Gastric Band Surgery – Common Medical Tourism Procedures

Definition:

Gastric Band surgery is a commonly performed surgery to treat obesity. The surgery involves placing an adjustable silicon band around the upper portion of the stomach through laparoscope to reduce the volume of the stomach. This limits the amount of food that can be consumed at one time by the patient and makes a person feel full faster.

The FDA has approved two types of adjustable gastric bands:

  • Realize Band
  • Lap Band

Why it is needed:

The bariatric surgery gastric band is advised for patients who are very obese and unable to lose weight through diet and exercise. A prime candidate for this type of surgery are patients who have:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more.
  • A BMI of 35 or more and are suffering from certain medical conditions that can be improved with weight loss such as sleep apnoea, diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease etc.
  • Patients aged between 18 to55 years, willing to follow the dietary restriction.

Facts and Figures:

  • Surgeons Wilkinson and Peloso first placed the non adjustable band around the upper part of the stomach in an open procedure in 1978.
  • The innovation of the modern adjustable band is a result of the collective efforts of early pioneers like Dr. Lubomyr Kuzmak and other bio-engineers, surgeons and scientists.
  • Cadiere was the first surgeon to apply an adjustable band through laparoscope in 1992.
  • Some celebrities who have selected gastric band surgery for the treatment of obesity include: Khaliah Ali (daughter of Muhammad Ali), Fern Britton, Brian Dennehy, Anne Diamond, John Daly – U.S. golfer

Advantages and Disadvantages:

Advantages:

  • No large incision required as the band is placed laproscopically, this reduces the chance of gastrointestinal tract infection.
  • The band is adjustable and can be customized to the patient’s requirements.
  • The surgery is reversible and the band can be removed if required.
  • Good tolerance by most persons of all ages.
  • Short hospital stay

Disadvantages:

  • Insufficient weight loss
  • Vomiting after eating
  • Chances of developing malnutrition

Risks and Complications:

  • Reaction to anaesthesia or medication
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Injury to abdominal organs
  • Gastric band slippage
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Stomach ulcer or gastritis

Pre-operative and Post-operative care:

Pre-operative preparation:

  • A complete physical examination
  • Blood and urinalysis
  • Ultrasound of abdomen and chest X-ray.
  • Visit a physician and obtain a list of prescribed medication as well as instructions on any medicines to be discontinued before surgery.
  • Inform surgeon related to any habits of smoking or alcohol.
  • Nutritional counselling
  • Arrangements for leave from work, help at home, help with driving, and for post operative rehabilitation.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery.
  • Medical tourists are advised to select a comfortable, accessible hotel room equipped with handicapped facilities for post surgery recovery.

Post-operative care:

  • After the surgery, patients may suffer from constipation for a few days. This will subside within a few days.
  • Patients must start walking gradually after returning home.

Do’s, Don’ts and Precautions

  • Take the medicine regularly as prescribed by surgeon.
  • Keep the incision site clean and dry.
  • Avoid getting pregnant for at least 18 months after surgery.
  • Avoid the use of straws and drinking carbonated drinks.
  • Keep a diary of food intake and weight loss after surgery.
  • Do strictly follow the diet regime prescribed by the doctor.
  • Do not drive until the doctor has given you the go ahead to do so.

Dr Prem Jagyasi and Team

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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