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What is a gastric band?

A gastric band involves an laparoscopic operation to help you lose weight. A band is an inflatable silicone device placed around the top of the stomach creating a small pouch above the band, intending to slow and reduce the consumption of food and creating a sense of fullness to assist weight loss.

What is a band fill?

It is when a qualified Health Practitioner uses a specific needle and inserts it into the port that is located under the surface of the abdominal wall. Once the needle is in the right position the practitioner will inject an amount of saline according to what has been agreed between the patient and the practitioner at the assessment process. The more saline that is added to the band the tighter the constriction will be and therefore reduce appetite for food.

What is a band aspiration?

If you should have regular vomiting, struggling to eat solid food or may even need to slow the weight loss down, having surgery, during pregnancy or going on a long haul journey you might need to have the band loosened. This is done by removing an amount of saline depending on symptoms at the time of the assessment or even at the requirement of the patient’s needs.

How often do I need my band filled?

The first year you should aim to lose 1-2 kg per week. You should aim to have 5- 6 fills within the first year to achieve you desired weight loss. At each consultation you will be assessed by asking questions relating to your dietary intake.

  1. How often you eat?
  2. Portion size?
  3. Are you snacking?
  4. What type of food are you eating?
  5. How are you managing with eating technique?

When do I know my band is too tight?

When you band is tight you will have symptoms that will indicate that something is not right with you band.
If you experience any of the following symptoms you should immediately contact your Health Practitioner to arrange an aspiration.

  1. Vomiting on a regular basis.
  2. Experiencing a night cough on a regular basis.
  3. Pain when eating solid food.
  4. No satiety anymore or sudden loss of restriction.
  5. Pain or redness at the site of the port.

Is it painful when they fill my band?

No it is just uncomfortable as the port is located very near to the surface of the abdominal skin, whilst careful palpation and assessment will minimise any unpleasantness felt. For the very needle phobic you may wish to buy 'Emla' cream which can be bought at your local Boots store.

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