Before the Gastric Banding Surgery you will undergo an extensive work-up to determine whether this operation is indicated and safe in your case. The preoperative screening will consist of complete blood tests, imaging studies, a gastroscopy and consultations with various specialists.
The Gastric Banding Operation
The idea behind the operation is to create a small pouch in the upper part of the stomach with a controlled and adjustable stoma (an opening in the abdomen where part of the small or large intestine protrudes), without stapling, thus limiting food intake.
A gastric band device is introduced through tiny (1cm) incisions in the abdomen and is placed around the upper part of the stomach. The resulting pouch (or the “new stomach”) dramatically reduces the functional capacity of the stomach. The band has a balloon from the inside that is adjustable and can reduce stoma size, thus prolonging the period of fullness.
The operation is performed under general anesthesia and can last between 30 minutes and 1 hour. An adjustable elastic band is placed around the upper stomach to create a small 15cc (one half ounce) pouch with a narrowed outlet. The outlet size can be adjusted by injecting saline into a small reservoir (port) placed under the skin at the time of surgery, and connected to the band by an I.V. tubing. The pouch fills quickly with solid food and empties slowly to relieve hunger and produce a feeling of fullness. Overeating results in pain or vomiting to limit food intake.
The cost for gastric banding surgery is around $8,000. This includes the doctors fee, all pre-surgery tests (including a cardiology study), medication, the surgery room, and 1-night hospital stay.
For international patients arriving from outside of Costa Rica, we can arrange a surgery schedule that will help minimize your time away from home. We will hold your first consultation and check-up on day one and perform the surgery the next. You should expect to stay in Costa Ric for 5 post-op days so that you can make a full, safe and comfortable recovery.