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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are possible adverse effects associated with gastric banding?

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  • Helen Bauzon , Leading Bariatric Dietitian, Author, Inspirational Speaker and T.V Presenter, has worked in the area of bariatric nutrition since the year 2000.  Most … View Profile

    The most common adverse side effect with the gastric band is the formation of a pouch.  A pouch is when the bottom of the oesophagus and the small area of stomach above the the gastric band is stretched way beyond the 1tbs original capacity.

    The pouch results due to poor eating techniques. If eating is painful with the gastric band, stop and ask the question WHY?  Fix the issue and  begin eating pain free.  The goal of quality education is to avoid the formation of a pouch.

    Some other possible adverse effects could include:
    1. Movement of the gastric band
    2. Replacement of the port due to needle stick injury

    The gastric band is considered the safest form of weight loss surgery.

    Helen Bauzon

  • Dr Richard Wong

    Personal Trainer

    Qualified with a B: Human Movement Science and Certificate. I grew up with sport. I competed succesfully at a state and national level as a … View Profile

    I believe the possible adverse affects with gastric banding are associated around the habits of the person with the banding. Because of poor education and limited support, the person simply doesnt understand what to eat, how to eat properly, how to overcome common eating issues, doesnt have a chance to make the right choices in regards to eating and exercise, doesnt understand really how to change their life. They simply rely on the banding to make them feel full all the time. This can also lead to a poor quality of life. 1 being malnutritioned but more importantly decreasing social interaction as because of the banding they feel that they can not be part of social events because they are so restricted with regards to food options. so i would seek professional help and get educated before you jump into gastric banding.

  • Melanie McGrice is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, one of the few dietitians in Australia to achieve that status. Her success has made her an … View Profile

    There are three main types of problems:
    1. mechanical problems - where the machinary breaks down (such as an infection of the port).  Like any machinary (car, washing machine, microwave) things break down over time and may need to be replaced or fixed
    2. physical problems - the band is designed to slow down how quickly you eat and can cause you to regurgitate if you eat too quickly.  You can also develop ‘maladaptive eating’ which means that you start avoiding solid foods and only eat mushy foods - which can lead to weight gain.
    3. nutritional problems - as you'll be eating a lot less with a band in place, people commonly have deficiencies of nutrients such as fibre, protein, folate or iron. You will need to see a dietitian regularly to avoid deficiencies and organise the correct supplements.

    You may also experience a lack of weight loss, which can be very disheartening.  The band is a tool to assist with weight loss - not a miracle cure.  You need to learn how to drive it properly and that can take patience and a good teacher.

    Hope this helps!


  • 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

    The Gastric Band is indicated for use in weight reduction for severely obese patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 or a BMI of at least 35 with one or more severe co-morbid conditions, or those who are50 kg or more over their estimated ideal weight. The Gastric Band System is not recommended for non-adult patients, patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results, who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.
    The Gastric Band is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required at some time. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Patients should not expect to lose weight as fast as gastric bypass patients, and band inflation should proceed in small increments. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.
    Placement of the Gastric Band  is major surgery and, like any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body.
    Band slippage, erosion and deflation, obstruction of the stomach, dilation of the oesophagus, infection, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required.
    Rapid weight loss may result in complications that can require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or oesophageal dilation.
    Not all contraindications, warnings or adverse events are included in this brief description. Please contact your physician or surgeon regarding the possible risks and benefits of obesity surgery.

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