Depending on the procedure, most operations are carried out laparoscopically, which is also known as key hole surgery. This means that you’ll have four or five small incisions (cuts) in the abdomen instead of one large cut, thereby enabling you to recover quicker and have much less scarring.
For some patients, the surgery can be technically difficult depending on body-build or previous surgery. In these circumstances, the operation can take longer as an “open procedure” (not keyhole) may be more appropriate.
Operation times vary according to the procedure. Gastric bands take approximately one hour to perform and gastric bypasses and sleeves take between 2-3 hours. See the individual procedure pages for more information on each procedure:
Weight loss surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic. You will meet your anaesthetist prior to surgery to discuss the process and any concerns you may have about the surgical process.
After your procedure, you will go into the recovery area until you have come round from the anaesthetic, at which point you will return to your room for further recovery.
After the Operation
You will wake up in recovery which is next door to theatres. When the staff there are satisfied that you are well enough you will be transferred to a ward. You will have intravenous fluids going through a cannula (small needle) in your arm to keep you hydrated and you may have oxygen for a short while as the anaesthetic and pain relief given in theatre may make you sleepy.
Eating and Drinking
You can start sipping water soon after your operation. If you find that you can tolerate this, you can start drinking other fluids and build up to the liquids shown on Stage One of your post op diet.
The hospital staff will be keen to mobilise you when you are ready. Even small exercises (such as rotating your ankles) are very useful to start you moving again.
You should be ready to go home after a one to two night hospital stay depending on which procedure you have. Your wound sites have steristrips and a dressing to cover them. There are no stitches to be removed. On discharge, the ward will give you spare dressings and a letter for your practice nurse. Before you leave the ward, arrangements will be made for your follow up appointment with the surgeon and dietitian.