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 can be complex.

Gastric Band Removal surgery is a keyhole procedure and is performed under general anaesthesia. Approximately 4-5 small incisions (2cm) on your abdomen. Carbon dioxide gas will be used to expand your abdomen, allowing the organs to be seen. A special narrow camera called a laparoscope, will be inserted through one incision and a video image will be relayed to a tv screen to allow Dr. Andrew Kiyingi to perform the surgery. Further 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.

At the end of the procedure, the incisions are closed with dissolving sutures and covered with a waterproof dressing. The operation will be complete when you wake up and you will stay in the recovery unit for some time till you are ready to return to the surgical ward. It is common to feel tired after surgery.

After Gastric Band Removal

After Gastric Band Removal

  • You will be kept comfortable with pain relief and anti-nausea medications and encouraged to do some gentle walking. Most patients will generally report very little pain following surgery. Please feel free to inform the health care team if there is any way in which we can make your stay more comfortable.

  • Dr Andrew Kiyingi will review you again when it’s time for 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

“During your consultation our Practice Manager will outline the cost involved for surgery and aftercare.”

Privately Insured

If you are Privately Insured, it is important to contact your private health insurer to check that your level of cover is adequate for the item numbers we have listed below. Generally, you will require top level or gold cover and should have completed the waiting period. Medicare cover only a small portion of the surgery fees.


If you are Uninsured, we are still happy to proceed with surgery. However, we will receive a separate additional quote from the hospital for your private hospital stay. Our practice manager will discuss this during your appointment.