• frequently asked questions

Gastric Balloon FAQ's

The National Obesity Surgery Centre is based in the North West of England and has 16 hospital locations in the UK. Due to the nature of the Gastric Balloon procedure, we can effectively monitor patients based in any location – including those outside the UK. We have extensive experience in providing the NOSC Stomach Balloon Programme to overseas patients, including our dedicated aftercare and advice service.
The answer is “yes”. The key to making the very most of your balloon is to follow a behaviour modification programme.

It is well established that diet programmes do not work in the long-term. After all, that is why patients come to us in the first place.

The NOSC Stomach Balloon Programme has been specifically designed to work alongside the Gastric Balloon, in order for the patients to get the best possible long term results.

The Gastric Balloon is a remarkable development allowing us to help the patients modify their behaviour and their relationship with food forever. And with the NOSC Stomach Balloon Programme alongside it, it works beautifully.

It is important to understand the relationship between your Gastric Balloon and the NOSC Stomach Balloon Programme. Combining both elements will ensure that you lose your excess weight* and maintain that loss* in the long-term*.

* results may differ from person to person and wont be the same for everyone.
At first your stomach will think that the balloon is food and therefore needs to be digested. When it can’t send the balloon down it will try to send it up. It is this repeated movement of the balloon that causes the side effects.

Don’t worry. If you can’t come to us then we will come to you, via the telephone or e-mail. The NOSC Stomach Balloon Programme is designed to fit into your schedule, no matter how busy you are.



Gastric Band FAQ's

If you have tried every diet and weight loss programme but continually failed in your attempts, the Gastric Band could be the solution to your problem. By joining the growing number of NOSC patients you can be sure that our professionally qualified team will give you the support and dedicated total individual patient care you need to achieve significant weight loss.

The Gastric Band is a small inflatable band that fits around the top of your stomach to restrict your food intake and control your hunger. When the band is inflated it creates a small upper stomach pouch and a narrowed outlet, limiting the stomach’s capacity to intake food and increasing the feeling of fullness. The combination of these two effects results in significant weight loss.

Adjustable Gastric Banding has been used in hundreds of thousands of patients throughout the world over many years, and has been shown to be:

  • Safe
  • Effective
  • Well tolerated
  • Easily reversed
  • Does not require invasive surgery
  • Associated with few complications in experienced hands

If you have followed every diet regime going in an attempt to shift your excess weight and feel that you need a long term aid to help you to control your weight, then Gastric Banding may be the solution for you.

To qualify, your BMI should be over 30 and you should understand that you will need to work with your Gastric Band to achieve significant long-term results.

Years of losing and gaining weight results in repeated failed behaviour around food and eating. If you truly believe that you do not have the discipline to maintain your weight loss and feel that you would benefit from the safety net and reassurance of a long term procedure, the Gastric Band may be the answer for you.
The Gastric Band operation takes around 30 minutes and is carried out under general anaesthesia via laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery. Four tiny incisions are made to the upper abdomen and the band is fitted around the top of the stomach with the use of a special telescope and camera. A fifth incision is made at the site of the access port.

Attached to the silicone band is a fine soft silicone tube. At the time of your operation the surgeon brings this tube through most of your abdominal wall from the inside. To the end of this tube is attached a small port.

This is fixed under your skin and allows your surgeon to add or remove small amounts of sterile saline into your band system. In doing this it is possible to adjust the amount of restriction the band is placing around your stomach. The Gastric Band will dictate how quickly food will enter your stomach.

Adjustments are made by adding or removing fluid from the band via the small access port which is located just under your skin. This is a quick 10-minute outpatient procedure. Your band is usually filled for the first time six weeks after your surgery.

As the purpose of the band is to severely restrict your capacity to eat, you must be prepared to adopt a very different eating pattern. Meals are going to be small, although most patients are able to eat normal food. Some people find this adjustment to their eating habits easier to make than others.

Laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique in which surgery is performed using slender surgical instruments, passed through small incisions in the abdomen. This creates less tissue damage than large, open surgical procedures. After laparoscopic surgery patients report much less pain and fewer wound complications. Patients also recover faster and are able to resume normal activities sooner.

Immediately after the procedure you’ll be required to stick to a liquid only diet for about two weeks. You will gradually progress to blended then soft foods and then on to normal foods in small portions.

You will have lots of support to help you through this time. One of our bariatric nurses will contact you daily for the first week and then our nutritional support team will take over. They will guide you through the dietary requirements until you feel confident about your new way of eating and living with your gastric band.

Our Nutritional Support Team will keep you motivated and help you address issues around food that you may want to work through.



Gastric Sleeve FAQ's

A sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve) is an operation to reduce the size of the stomach by up to 80%* in order to restrict the amount of food that is eaten. The resulting decrease in capacity leads to substantial weight loss. By removing the part of the stomach that secretes the hunger hormone Ghrelin, patients experience a significant reduction in their appetite.

* results may differ from person to person and wont be the same for everyone.

You may be a suitable candidate for a gastric sleeve if your BMI is over 35 and you feel that you need a long term weight loss solution, but you don’t want an implanted device such as a gastric band.


Treatment is carried out under general anaesthesia in an operation that takes between 60 and 90 minutes. The procedure is performed via 5 small incisions in the abdomen. A stapling device is used to remove up to 80%* of the volume of the stomach, leaving a slender tube that maintains the natural openings to and from the stomach.

* results may differ from person to person and wont be the same for everyone.

Laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique in which surgery is performed using slender surgical instruments, passed through small incisions in the abdomen. This creates less tissue damage than open surgical procedures. After laparoscopic surgery patients report much less pain and fewer wound complications. Patients also recover faster and are able to resume normal activities sooner.
After a 2/3 night stay in hospital you will be discharged to recover at home. You will follow a liquid only diet for the first two weeks, progressing to blended, then soft foods and then on to normal foods in smaller portions. You are advised to take two weeks off work to ensure that you heal as quickly as possible.

You will have lots of support during this time. The NOSC Support Team will guide you through your dietary requirements and our support team will be on hand to keep you motivated and address any issues you may have. They will give you an unlimited amount of support for the 12 months following your procedure.

Because no surgery is performed on the intestines, the digestive system functions normally. Unlike patients who have had the gastric bypass, gastric sleeve patients do not suffer from severe vitamin deficiencies, food restrictions or malabsorption.

Gastric sleeve patients require little in the way of follow up, unlike gastric band patients who require band adjustments. As there is no implanted device there is nothing to malfunction in the future. The gastric sleeve is ideal for people with busy lifestyles and for those who are less mobile.

As the stomach functions normally after a gastric sleeve most foods can be eaten, just in smaller amounts.



Gastric Plication FAQ's

Gastric Plication has been performed throughout the world with an excellent success rate varying from patient to patient. We are excited to be one of the first providers in the UK to offer this procedure.

This operation reduces the size of the stomach by up to 8O%* in order to restrict the amount of food that is eaten. The resulting decrease in capacity leads to substantial weight loss. Gastric Plication attempts to mimic the restrictive effects of the Gastric Sleeve without removing any part of the stomach. Average weight loss falls somewhere between the Gastric Band and the Gastric Sleeve.

* results may differ from person to person and wont be the same for everyone.

You may be a suitable candidate for this procedure if your BMI is between 32 and 42 and you feel that you need a long term weight loss solution.


Treatment is carried out under general anaesthesia in an operation that takes between 60 and 90 minutes. The procedure is performed using laparoscopic surgery to create 5 small incisions in the abdomen. This is a minimally invasive procedure. The surgeon frees up the greater curve of the stomach (the round part) and folds the stomach inward. Two rows of folds are created using sutures to significantly reduce the volume of the stomach. No part of the stomach is removed, no adjustments are needed, and no devices are implanted in your body.

Laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique in which surgery is performed using slender surgical instruments, passed through small incisions in the abdomen. This creates less tissue damage than open surgical procedures. After laparoscopic surgery patients report much less pain and fewer wound complications. Patients also recover faster and are able to resume normal activities sooner.
After a 2 night stay in hospital you will be discharged to recover at home. You will follow a liquid only diet, progressing to blended, then soft foods and then on to normal foods in smaller portions. You are advised to take 2 weeks off work to ensure that you heal as quickly as possible.

You will have lots of support during this time. The NOSC Support Team will guide you through your dietary requirements and our support team will be on hand to keep you motivated and address any issues you may have. They will give you an unlimited amount of support for the 12 months following your procedure.

Because the stomach functions normally after Gastric Plication most foods can be eaten, just in smaller amounts. Patients do not suffer from side effects such as vitamin deficiency, food restrictions or malabsorption. Gastric Plication patients require little in the way of follow up, unlike gastric band patients who require band adjustments. As there is no implanted device there is nothing to malfunction in the future. The reduced stomach size allows the patient to have a feeling of fullness after eating only a small amount of food. This procedure is considered long term but can be reversed.

Because no surgery is performed on the intestines, the digestive system functions normally. Unlike patients who have had the gastric bypass, gastric sleeve patients do not suffer from severe vitamin deficiencies, food restrictions or malabsorption.

Gastric sleeve patients require little in the way of follow up, unlike gastric band patients who require band adjustments. As there is no implanted device there is nothing to malfunction in the future. The gastric sleeve is ideal for people with busy lifestyles and for those who are less mobile.

As the stomach functions normally after a gastric sleeve most foods can be eaten, just in smaller amounts.



Whilst we endeavour to answer all of the questions you may have on our website it’s inevitable there may be one or two questions specific to you that you’d like answered. Of course our patient advisors are always ready and happy to take your call and answer any questions you may have. However you can also browse our list of frequently asked questions to find the answer you are looking for.

If you can’t find the answer to your question in our FAQs, or you’d like assistance from one of our patient advisors, please make an enquiry.

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National Obesity Surgery Centre