Gastric Band Surgery

Lap Gastric Band Removal Surgery

“Weight loss (Bariatric) Surgery has significant health benefits such as reducing the risk of death from many causes. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle even after surgery”


Adjustable Laparoscopic Gastric Banding was a popular procedure over the last 15yrs for obesity. The procedure involved placing a silicone tube (much like a belt) around the stomach. This tube could be tightened or loosed around the stomach to achieve the desirable restriction which would limit how much food a patient was able to eat and subsequently result in weight loss.  Adjustable Gastric bands were promoted as simple low risk procedures which were reversable.

Unfortunately, over time gastric bands have been found to be associated with several problems. Some Complications of Laparoscopic Gastric Bands include:

  • Poor weight loss compared to other bariatric procedures

  • Increased weight regain compared to other bariatric procedures

  • Highest rate of re-operation compared to other bariatric procedures

  • Highest rate of food intolerance and vomiting compared to other bariatric procedures

  • Permanent damage to the stomach and oesophagus due scarring, even after band removal

  • High failure rate compared to other bariatric procedures

  • Gastric Erosion: meaning that the band can bore a hole through the stomach wall

As a result, Adjustable gastric bands have become unpopular despite still being available. Perth Bariatric Surgery does not offer gastric banding as we firmly believe there are several superior surgery alternatives. In fact, Dr Andrew Kiyingi has never placed any Adjustable Gastric Bands due to this reason. However, we do see and manage a very high proportion of patients who come forward for gastric band removal due to band complications and problems.

The Procedure
The Procedure

Ultimately, most gastric bands will not last forever and will need to be removed. This procedure is often more complex and higher risk than the initial gastric band insertion. This is because the gastric band is a foreign material in the body which causes scarring over time. The scarring results in other organs sticking to the band and the stomach. Releasing this scar tissue to remove the gastric band can be complex.

Gastric Band Removal surgery is a keyhole procedure and is performed under general anaesthesia.

  • Our surgeon, Dr Andrew Kiyingi, will make 4-5 small incisions (2cm) on your abdomen. To see organs more clearly, Carbon dioxide (CO2) gas will be used to expand your abdomen.

  • A laparoscope (a special narrow camera) will be inserted through one incision to display a video image to a tv screen allowing our Perth based surgeon to perform the surgery.

  • Small instruments will be inserted through the other incisions as required to complete the operation.

  • The operation will vary in complexity depending on your type of band and the extent of scar tissue and damage caused by the band and your previous surgeon.

  • Dr. Andrew Kiyingi will work to remove the band and port and restore your stomach anatomy.

  • Occasionally if there is a lot of fluid around the band, Dr. Kiyingi may place a small drain in the abdomen for the first day or so.

  • The incisions are closed with dissolving sutures and covered with a waterproof dressing at the end of the procedure.

After the operation when you wake up you will stay in the recovery unit for some time till you are ready to return to the surgical ward.

After Gastric Band Removal
After Gastric Band Removal
  • We will keep you comfortable with pain relief and anti-nausea medications. Our staff will encourage you to do some gentle walking.

  • Following surgery, most patients will report very little pain. Please inform the health care team if there is any way in which we can make your stay more comfortable.

  • Our surgeon at Perth Bariatric Surgery, Dr Andrew Kiyingi, will review again at the time of discharge and answer any of your questions.

Converting Gastric Banding to another Weight-loss Surgery
Converting Gastric Banding to another Weight-loss Surgery

Changing one weight loss surgery into another is called Revisional Surgery. Please feel free to read more regarding this here.

MBS Item Number: Surgical Reversal of Gastric Band
MBS Item Number: Surgical Reversal of Gastric Band

For Private Health Insurance, you may want to note the below MBS item number:

MBS Item Number: 31584 Surgical Reversal of Adjustable Gastric Band

Cost of Lap Gastric Band Removal

Our Practice Manager will assist you with the cost involved for surgery and aftercare during your consultation.


Privately Insured

If you are Privately Insured, you need to contact your private health insurance provider to check that your level of cover is acceptable for the items we required during operation. Generally, It is recommended to have a top level or gold cover and the waiting period should have completed. Medicare covers only a very little portion of the surgery fees.



If you are Uninsured, we are still happy and ready to proceed with surgery. However, we will get a different additional quote from the hospital for your private hospital stay. Our practice manager will talk about this during your appointment.

The first step is easy.