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Adjustable Gastric Band: Before Your Surgery

Gastric banding

What is adjustable gastric band surgery?

Adjustable gastric banding is surgery to help people lose weight. It makes the stomach smaller and limits how much food it can hold. This helps you eat less and feel full sooner.

You will be asleep during the surgery. The doctor will make several small cuts in your belly. These cuts are called incisions. Then the doctor puts special tools and a camera through the incisions. Next, the doctor wraps a silicone band around the upper part of your stomach to make a small pouch. Then the incisions are closed with stitches. They will leave scars that fade with time.

The small size of the stomach pouch means you will feel full after you eat a small amount of food. The doctor can adjust the size of the band by inflating or deflating it. This controls how quickly food goes from the new pouch into the lower part of the stomach.

You probably will stay in the hospital for 1 or 2 days after the surgery. Most people can go back to work or their usual routine in about 2 to 4 weeks.

How do you prepare for surgery?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • You may need to follow a clear liquid diet for several days before surgery. Your doctor will tell you how to do this.
  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your surgery. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Take a bath or shower before you come in for your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
  • Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery centre

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. You will be asleep during the surgery.
  • The surgery will take about 1 hour.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
  • You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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