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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    When is gastric banding considered the best option?

    Related Topic
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Amanda Clark

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Amanda Clark (Adv APD) is a senior dietitian at Great Ideas in Nutrition on the Gold Coast. She is the creator of Portion Perfection, a … View Profile

    Gastric banding is suitable for those with BMI greater than 35 who have tried to lose weight by conventional means and are amenable to making healthy lifestyle choices. It may also be a suitable choice for those with a slightly lower bmi and illnesses which would improve with weight loss. I have found it exceptionally successful for those who report never having experienced the sensation of satisfaction and for those willing to get serious about exercise once their weight is at a safe level. The procedure does require adjustments so long term commitment is a must.

  • 4


    Lisa Renn


    Lisa is an APD with 12 years experience, specialising in helping people identify and change habits that impact negatively on their health. Inspiring change, Lisa … View Profile

    Gastric banding is an option for those people with a BMI greater than 40 or greater than 35 if you have other health conditions eg type 2 diabetes, previous heart disease, hypertension etc.
    It can be very sucessful however you before considering this option it is important that you have been assessed by a Dietitian and Pychologist with expertise in the area of gastric banding.
    If you are looking at this as an easy fix because you find healthy eating and exercise hard to sustain then this is not your option. Gastric banding acts to decrease the amount you can eat it doesn't fix emotional eating issues and bad habits - only hard work can do that.
    Gastric banding requires a big committment to a healthy lifestyle- any emotional eating issues will still be present after the surgery.
    For long term sucess following up with a Dietitian and your surgeon is vital to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients you require and dealing with any eating issues that will lead to weight regain.

  • 3


    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    Making the decision to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle is an important one and so it is important that you first consider all the options available to you. There are many factors to consider before choosing a weight loss option and I have outlined a number of those options below. Obviously the best option is to change your eating habits and exercise regularly. It is always preferable to surgery.
    Laparoscopic Gastric Banding is the placement of a band around the top of the stomach through keyhole surgery. The Gastric Band is made of silicone and a balloon lines the inside. An access port, connected to the Gastric Band by tubing, is placed in the abdomen wall, which allows saline solution to be added or removed to change the size of the band. This is easily reversible.
    Sleeve Gastrectomy (also known as Gastric Sleeve surgery) is a relatively new approach to weight loss surgery. Originally, it was the first stage of a far more complicated Gastric Bypass operation, but is now becoming more popular as a stand-alone procedure. It is not reversible and becoming very popular.
    Gastric Bypass has been available for more than 35 years and is still a commonly used surgery in the United States. Gastric Bypass is traditionally done with a long incision in the abdomen, but can also be performed laparoscopically. It involves cutting the stomach off near the top so that a smaller pouch may be made, which is reconnected to the small intestine.
    You should discuss the different options with your doctor and decide which one is suited to you and your health.

  • 3


    Dr Jason Wong

    Bariatric (Obesity) Surgeon, General Surgeon, Laparoscopic Surgeon, Upper GI Surgeon (Abdominal)

    Jason Wong is a skilled Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon with expertise in sleeve and gastric bypass surgery, gallbladder, hernia, endoscopic pilonidal, antireflux and emergency general … View Profile

    It would be uncommon for gastric banding to be considered the "best option" given that it is not as effective as other procedures, has a relatively high failure rate compared to other procedures, it makes revision surgery more difficult and can include complications such as pseudoachalasia where the oesophagus becomes weak and floppy.

    It can certainly be considered a very reasonable option for patients willing to commit lifelong to maintenance of their band, multiple and frequent follow-up appointments, poorer quality of life and diet compared with procedures such as sleeve.  Alternatively if the patient is not suitable for a sleeve or bypass procedure because of too many pre-existing medical problems then band may certainly be an option.

    Do not be fooled by marketing ploys playing on patient fears such as "leak", "stapling or cutting the stomach", "faster recovery", and "reversible" as you need to remember that serious complications such as leak occur at a rate of approximately 1-2% whereas band complications may be 30% or more. Obesity surgery is for the long-term health improvement, so a few more days or even a week longer recovery is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

    The other thing to remember is not to choose a procedure based on "what is popular". It is important that your surgeon assesses your particular situation to decide whether or not band is the most appropriate procedure versus other procedures. Multiple options, pros and cons should be presented and I would be wary of a surgeon who just agrees to do whatever procedure you come in wanting without a detailed assessment.

  • Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been … View Profile

    Great question, this video may help you make an informed decision about your next step :)

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