Frequently Asked Questions

How does the doctor know how much of my stomach should be removed?

Answer: Our surgeons are very experienced in performing gastric sleeve surgery and their judgement regarding how much of the stomach should be removed is exceptional.

Is the procedure reversible?

Answer: No, a gastric sleeve is not reversible; the portion of the stomach removed is discarded.

Will my stomach stretch back to its original size?

Answer: Patients who continue to overeat and lead sedentary lifestyles following surgery risk increasing their stomach size and weight.

How quickly will I lose my excess weight?

Answer: Weight loss varies from patient to patient; however, rapid weight loss is not necessarily good for your health and metabolism. Most patients can expect weight loss around 0.5kg-1kg per week in the first 12 months.

Is the procedure painful?

Answer: Extreme pain following surgery is rare; although, patients are given medication both in hospital and following discharge in case of any pain.

How long does the surgery take and how long do I have to stay in hospital?

Answer: Surgery takes around 60 minutes, provided there are no complications; and, most patients are discharged from hospital within 48 hours.

Can I fall pregnant following a Gastric Sleeve?

Answer: Yes, there are no problems falling pregnant and having a baby following the procedure. Weight loss is sometimes needed to help people fall pregnant and a gastric sleeve offers many patients a solution to fertility problems experienced as a result of being overweight. It is however recommended that patients wait 12 months before attempting to fall pregnant to allow for sustained weight loss.

Am I able to walk out of hospital?

Answer: Yes, you will be encouraged to walk within a few hours following surgery.

What happens to my excess skin after I've lost weight?

Answer: In most cases skin will continue to contract after weight loss and exercise will help with toning back excess skin. Patients who continue to have excessive amounts of excess skin after reaching their weight loss goal can consider plastic surgery. Excess abdominal skin can be treated by having a cosmetic procedure called Abdominplasty or a Tummy Tuck.

Can I participate in contact sports, like rugby or soccer, with a band?

Yes, there are no restrictions on sport participation other than no heavy lifting in the first 3-4 weeks following surgery.

What foods can I eat following lap band surgery?

Once patients have progressed through the fluid and puree stages of their post-surgical diet, there are no restrictions on the type of foods you can eat; although, there are some foods that may get stuck, like white bread, and sometimes chicken and steak if it’s not chewed properly or overcooked and dry.

Why is it necessary to go on a pre-surgical and post-surgical liquid diet?

A pre-surgical liquid diet of formulated meal replacements is essential in reducing the fat in the liver, allowing easier access to the working area around the top of the stomach. Post-surgery, this diet allows the band to settle comfortably as you prepare for the transition back to normal foods. Thankfully, it only last two weeks, both before and after surgery, and is probably the last diet you’ll ever go on! There is also a 2 week soft/puree food stage that follows the post-surgical liquid diet and then it’s back to normal foods.

Is my port visible to other people or does it become noticeable when I’ve lost weight?

No, you will not be able to see your port since it is embedded under the tissue layer of your skin.

Is vomiting normal with the band?

Vomiting is not a normal phenomenon with a gastric band; although, you may feel the need to bring a piece of food up if it gets stuck. This often indicates the gastric band is too tight or the food has not been chewed properly or needs to be more moist to slide down through the opening.

Do lap band adjustments hurt?

Lap Band Adjustments are usually painless and very quick; if anything, you may feel a slight prick from the huber needle when the saline is inserted into the port. A local anaesthetic is available if requested.

Who does the gastric band adjustments?

Adjustments are done by one of our experienced surgeons and nurses at WLSA and should be considered an extremely important component of the post-surgical gastric band management process. We also have a number of endorsed doctors around the country and internationally to assist you with your adjustment needs. Adjustments are essential in supporting your weight loss and maintenance efforts.

Does the gastric band ever need to be replaced?

As long as there are no erosion or slippage problems with the band, you should not have to have your gastric band replaced. At this stage the band has an indefinite lifecycle.

Can I travel overseas or fly with my gastric band?

Yes, you should not experience any problems or discomfort with your band during flight. You can however request contact details of an endorsed surgeon overseas to assist you should you have any problems during your travels.

Can I have my gastric band removed once I have lost weight?

Whilst the band is a reversible procedure, it is not advisable to have your band removed once you have lost weight. The band has a role to play in assisting you with weight loss and weight maintenance and should not be removed unless there are complications.