What is a gastric band?
A gastric band, or lap band, is a form of weight loss surgery. This is an invasive surgical procedure which requires a general anaesthetic and is undertaken at a hospital usually by a specialist bariatric surgeon. You will usually also be supported by a team of specialist bariatric dietitians and nurses before and after this procedure.
A gastric band itself involves a physical band being placed around the stomach, so you will feel satisfied from smaller portion sizes. Unlike a gastric sleeve and other forms of bariatric surgery, the advantage of a lap band is that it is a reversible procedure which requires no changes to your physical anatomy.
Sometimes this procedure may be available through the NHS if you meet their specific criteria to be considered eligible for weight loss surgery and/or you also have obesity-related conditions which may be alleviated or reduced with a gastric procedure.
Many people choose to go to a private hospital such as Nuffield Health, Healthier Weight, Spire Healthcare, Bupa, or The Hospital Group to name a few of the main providers in the UK.
A gastric band is more than just the surgery itself. It requires both a lifestyle commitment in order to significantly change your eating habits and also a financial one, as it can cost in the region of £5,000 on average. You will also need to consider the cost implications of any supplements you will be required to take post-surgery, dietitian appointments, band adjustments and any aftercare or surgical cover you will need.