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Gastric Banding > Risks and Side Effects of Gastric Banding

There are few side effects with Gastric Banding however the most common side effects are listed below. Please discuss with your doctor before proceeding with any surgical procedures.

Infection and migration

An infection may develop either in the port area or in the abdomen, and in some instances this may cause the band to migrate into the stomach. In such a case, reoperation normally is necessary. Most of the complications linked to migrations have occurred as a result of too much fluid being injected into the SAGB. The balloon must therefore be filled with no more than 9 ml of fluid, as recommended by the manufacturer. In nearly all of the reported cases of migration the balloon had a fluid content above 11ml. This is 2ml more than the recommended maximum volume. The rate of migration will be kept low by avoiding overfilling of the system. Migration can also be caused by a subclinical infection. Even if this is very rare, it is important that you do not let anyone inject liquid into your port without previously applying a swab soaked in 5% chlorhexidine spirit onto the skin for approximately ten minutes before the injection. Omitting skin preparation may result in an infection.


Leakage from the gastric band or from the connecting tube between the balloon and the port may require reoperation. The balloon is made of fragile material, and leakage can occur either shortly after surgery or many years later. In the event of leakage, the gastric band can normally be easily replaced with a new one. Nowadays this is a rare complication, but you must be aware that there is a possible risk that in the long term the band may need to be replaced with a new one.

Slippage of the band and pouch dilatation

The band may slip, and the pouch (the part of the stomach above the band) may become too enlarged, and a reoperation may be necessary.

Punctures in the silicone band and port dislocation

The injection port may dislocate.
When injecting into the port, there is always the risk of puncturing the silicone tube.
However, should either of the above occur, both can easily be corrected with a small operation under local anaesthesia.

Other complications

Other complications have occurred. You should ask your doctor for more detailed information.

There is no guarantee that the gastric banding will work without fault for the rest of your life; however, the gastric banding system has been in clinical use since 1987.

The risk of reoperation will always exist, even if none of the above-mentioned complications occur. You must understand that the possibility of reoperation is an integral part of the overall management of morbid obesity. Reoperations are considered a technical measure that is sometimes necessary.

As with any surgical procedure using general anaesthesia, there is, of course, a risk of complications with even the possibility of death. Please ask your doctor for more detailed information.

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