Gastric Banding

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Procedure Description

Gastric banding, also known as laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), is a surgical weight loss procedure. In this procedure, an adjustable silicone band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach, effectively dividing it into a small upper pouch and a larger lower section. This division restricts the amount of food that the stomach can hold, leading to a feeling of fullness after consuming smaller portions. The goal is to assist in significant long-term weight loss. Gastric banding is typically recommended for individuals who are severely obese or have obesity-related health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or sleep apnea. It's crucial to note that this surgery is usually recommended after other weight loss methods like diet modifications, exercise, and medication have been tried and failed.

Candidates for gastric banding should have a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 35, or above 30 if they have obesity-related medical conditions. It is considered less invasive than other bariatric surgeries like gastric bypass, making it an option worth considering for those concerned about longer recovery times or more complicated surgical procedures. However, it is essential to understand that this is not a quick fix; lifestyle changes are crucial for the long-term success of the procedure.

This procedure is generally considered for adults, although in specific cases, it may be an option for teenagers. A thorough consultation with healthcare professionals, including a bariatric surgeon, is necessary to determine if gastric banding is the most suitable option for you. Various pre-operative assessments such as psychological evaluations, nutritional counseling, and medical tests are typically conducted to ensure you're a fit candidate for the surgery.

Procedure Duration

The gastric banding procedure itself usually takes approximately one to two hours and is often performed under general anesthesia. It's a minimally invasive surgery, utilizing laparoscopic techniques, which involves making small incisions in the abdomen through which surgical instruments and a camera are inserted. This results in a shorter hospital stay, often less than 24 hours, and quicker post-operative recovery.

Once the surgery is done, patients are advised to adhere to a liquid diet for a few weeks before gradually transitioning to solid foods. Regular follow-up appointments are crucial during the first year after the operation for band adjustments. Recovery time varies from person to person, but most people can return to work and resume non-strenuous activities within a week or two.

It's vital to remember that gastric banding is not a one-time fix; it's a part of a long-term weight management plan that includes lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. Ongoing medical monitoring is also essential to adjust the band tightness and to check for any complications.


  • Cost-Effective: Many countries offer gastric banding at a fraction of the cost compared to the United States or Western European nations.
  • Expertise: Some overseas hospitals specialize in bariatric surgeries, offering experienced medical teams and advanced technology.
  • Cutting-Edge Technology: Many foreign healthcare facilities boast state-of-the-art medical equipment and adhere to international standards.

Potential Destinations

  • India: Known for highly skilled surgeons and affordable healthcare.
  • Mexico: Proximity to the United States makes it a convenient option.
  • Thailand: Offers luxury medical facilities with a focus on patient comfort and care.

Risks & Considerations

  • Travel Duration: Long flights can be uncomfortable post-surgery.
  • Cultural Differences: Understanding the healthcare system in a foreign country can be challenging.
  • Legalities: Make sure to familiarize yourself with the medical legalities in the destination country.

How to Choose the Right Doctor and Hospital

  • Accreditations: Look for hospitals that are internationally accredited.
  • Doctor's Experience: Make sure the surgeon has ample experience in performing gastric banding surgeries.
  • Patient Reviews: Previous patient reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality of care.

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Patients are advised to seek hospitals that are accredited by Global Healthcare and only work with medical tourism facilitators who are certified by Global Healthcare Accreditation or who have undergone certification from the Certified Medical Travel Professionals (CMTP). This ensures that the highest standards in the industry are met. GHA accredits the top hospitals in the world. These are the best hospitals in the world for quality and providing the best patient experience. Click the link to check out hospitals accredited by the Global Healthcare Accreditation:

Frequently Asked Questions

What actually happens during hyperstimulation of the ovaries?

The patient will take injectable FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) for eight to eleven days, depending on how long the follicles take to mature. This hormone is produced naturally in a woman’s body causing one egg to develop per cycle. Taking the injectable FSH causes several follicles to develop at once, at approximately the same rate. The development is monitored with vaginal ultrasounds and following the patient’s levels of estradiol and progesterone. FSH brand names include Repronex, Follistim, Menopur, Gonal-F and Bravelle. The patient injects herself daily.

What happens during egg retrieval?

When the follicles have developed enough to be harvested, the patient attends an appointment  where she is anesthetized and prepared for the procedure. Next, the doctor uses an ultrasound probe to guide a needle through the vaginal wall and into the follicle of the ovary. The thin needle draws the follicle fluid, which is then examined by an embryologist to find the eggs. The whole process takes about 20 minutes.

What happens to the eggs?

In the next step, the harvested eggs are then fertilized. If the sperm from the potential father, or in some cases, anonymous donor, has normal functionality, the eggs and sperm are placed together in a dish with a nutrient fluid, then incubated overnight to fertilize normally. If the sperm functionality is suboptimal, an embryologist uses Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection to inject a single sperm into a single egg with an extremely precise glass needle.  Once fertilization is complete, the embryos are assessed and prepared to be transferred to the patient’s uterus.

How are the embryos transferred back to the uterus?

The doctor and the patient will discuss the number of embryos to be transferred. The number of successfully fertilized eggs usually determines the number of eggs to be placed in the uterus. Embryos are transferred to the uterus with transabdominal ultrasound guidance. This process does not require anesthesia, but it can cause minor cervical or uterine discomfort. Following transfer, the patient is advised to take at least one days bed rest and two or three additional days of rest, then 10 to 12 days later, two pregnancy tests are scheduled to confirm success. Once two positive tests are completed, an obstetrical ultrasound is ordered to show the sac, fetal pole, yolk sac and fetal heart rate.


Built into this technology there is a microscope with a powerful camera that allows the uninterrupted monitoring of the embryo during its first hours of life. In this way, we can keep a close eye on the embryo, from the moment when the oocyte is inseminated and begins to divide into smaller and smaller cells, until it can be transferred to the uterus.

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