Gastric Band Removal

The gastric band is intended to provide a permanent weight loss tool for the patient. The inert nature of the materials the band is made of mean that it is safe to continue living with the band in situ even when it is empty and providing no restriction. There are though, a number of reasons a patient might choose to have their band removed.

Band Slippage

While a mild band slippage can be resolved by removing fluid from the band, in our experience after any slippage there is an increased risk of slippage in the future. The side effects of a mild slippage can be quite unpleasant and difficult to live with so many patients who suffer with recurrent mild slippage choose gastric band removal. This is perhaps the most common reason for having a gastric band removed.

Severe gastric band slippage can become life threatening and is more likely after a previous slippage. Patients who experience severe gastric band slippage are almost always advised to have their band removed or to leave it empty. Severe slippage that leads to an emergency hospital admission will almost always result in gastric band removal for preservation of life.

Band Erosion

The only safe solution to band erosion is to have the band removed. Generally, patients who are diagnosed with band erosion will choose to return to the surgeon who fitted their band to request private removal at the earliest opportunity. Patients can expect to be advised to wait a minimum of 3 months after removal before considering fitting a replacement gastric band.

Successful weight loss

Some patients who lose all their excess weight with their gastric band do actually then choose to have their gastric band removed, so they can attempt to maintain their weight without the aid of the gastric band. Few clinicians would advise this approach, as the band can simply be left empty, but if a patient is adamant that they want to live without the band inside them, then they can arrange to be assessed and referred to a surgeon.

Failure to lose weight

Perhaps the second most common reason for having the band removed is failure to lose weight. There are many reasons a patient fails to successfully lose weight with a gastric band, with the most obvious one being a poor level of aftercare support from the team who fitted it, but ultimately if it is not helping them lose weight, or worse if it’s causing them problems with acid reflux or if failing to lose weight with the band is affecting their mental health, then removal is a viable option.

Gastric Band Removal Consultation

Patients considering gastric band removal with Gateway Health will undergo a health assessment by a member of the nursing staff prior to referral to the surgeon. This health assessment consultation will be conducted remotely via phone or Skype and will require you to complete a health assessment questionnaire. A clinic appointment will then be made for your consultation with the surgeon.